Insight by Dell Technologies and Intel

Giving frontline workers the power of edge computing can drive critical outcomes

The future of computing is at the edge. That is becoming clearer every day.

The future of computing is at the edge. That is becoming clearer every day.

Whether it’s soldiers in remote locations requiring data to make mission-critical decisions or sensors on the border or in the ocean, agencies are finding their networks extend almost indefinitely.

IDC Government Insights says agencies collect more data than any other sector and most data is now collected at the edge. IDC Government says agencies can leverage edge computing and artificial intelligence to make real-time decisions related to what that data shows.

No surprise, that IDC Government predicts edge computing along with AI to be a high-growth area in the next few years especially with the expected implementation of 5G capabilities.

To ensure data gets to soldiers or employees in the field, agencies need a modern, flexible platform that mixes infrastructure and software to let them move workloads from the cloud to the data center to the edge with little trouble.

But edge computing comes with all the typical challenges of on-premise or even traditional cloud computing like security, latency and legacy technology that can’t run on the cloud in order to reach the edge.

The end goal, as DoD stated in its 2018 cloud computing strategy, is clear.  Agencies must embrace computing solutions that enable warfighters or any employee in their environment versus forcing them to conform to the current environment of siloed data and legacy applications.


Current Definition of the Edge

The fundamental premise here is the edge is wherever the user happens to be—your office, your tactical operations center. Moving forward when we think about this particular problem set and the definition of it, it’s almost in the eyes of the beholder and it will be informed by what we have been doing over the last 90 days.


Network Modernization

The reason why we are all more and more interested in edge computing is that capacity to leverage the edge and run some analysis right there to ingest, to filter, to compress, to bring out the most important bits of information and only send a smaller, smarter data stream over the wider network to a data center or cloud environment.


Data, People and Governance

There is a natural affinity between people and computing at the edge. It empowers them and it goes along with their idea that they are the systems. But each person at the edge is either the beginning or the end of an entire value chain and to achieve the kind of seamless network and modernized processing that we know we need to make this work, we almost will have to go counter-culture because people like being empowered, but if you take that so far, then you can’t manage the configurations of what you got.

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Panel of experts

  • Zach Goldstein

    Chief Information Officer & Director, High Performance Computing and Communications, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Mac Townsend

    Technical Director for Architecture and Engineering, Chief Information Office, Defense Intelligence Agency

  • Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford

    Chief Information Officer/G-6, U.S. Army 

  • Kirsten Billhardt

    Global Marketing Director, Edge Solutions Group, Dell Technologies

  • Jason Miller

    Executive Editor, Federal News Network