I recently came across a great talk by Peter Levine, a partner at Andreesen Horowitz, titled “Return to the Edge and the End of Cloud Computing”. He gives a good introduction to edge computing, why there’s no way around it and how it will change IT in the coming years. Basically we’re entering a new age of distributed computing, he claims. Distributed computing? Wasn’t that all the rage in the 90’s and early 2000’s, before everything moved to the Cloud? Right – we’re going full circle … again. After we’ve shifted (almost) all our computing to centralized cloud infrastructure in the last decade, now with the IoT and the gigantic amounts of sensor data it brings, we need to move computing power back to the places where the data is generated. That’s what edge computing is all about.
And since edge computing is also about … computing: which programming language is very well suited to process large computing workloads? Of course, our good old friend C++. Especially at the edge, where available processing power is limited for various reasons (available energy, cooling, space, environment, cost, etc.) and every bit of performance you can squeeze out counts. C++ is well regarded for high performance applications. With C++11, 14 and 17, C++ has also become a very modern programming language. And with a powerful framework like the macchina.io Edge SDK, C++ becomes the perfect programming language for building edge computing applications.
Spoiler: The Cloud will not die. It will continue to do the things it can do best – centralized processing of filtered, pre-processed data, and powering SaaS. But edge computing will shift a significant amount of workloads out of the data center, into edge devices.