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On Edge: The Future of Computing

Microsoft’s latest edge database offering, the buzzwordy Azure SQL Database Edge (ASDE), is supposed to make edge computing (where Microsoft insists 75% of data will be created and processed by 2025) possible. For organizations at leading edge (ha!) of the IoT revolution, Microsoft wants to be the vendor of choice.

If the proliferation of IoT devices proceeds as predicted, enterprises are going to generate more data at the edge of the network than they can reliably process in the cloud, or even in the data center. Microsoft’s solution, announced in May 2019, is to provide a lighter database solution.

According to Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Julia White, ASDE will support cloud and disconnected (true edge) deployments, Power BI (and other BI tools), and a write once deploy anywhere software paradigm based on a “common programming surface area across Azure SQL Database, SQL Server on-premises, and Azure SQL Database Edge.”

For use cases where connectivity might not always be available, but where analytics are valuable (drilling platforms, or remote mine sites), this could be a game changer.

Our Take

ASDE is yet another acknowledgement from a major cloud provider that the straight public cloud is not an achievable future in all cases. The future of the edge is the future of computing. Data is the new oil (right down to the impact of leaks!); those organizations that can generate and exploit it will be well-positioned for the future. A standard platform that those organizations can use to generate insight across cloud, data center, and edge environments could provide meaningful substantive benefits.

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