Why today’s app developers should leverage edge compute

(if they haven’t already…)

In an era where the line between our digital and physical lives is increasingly blurred, smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices are consistently reshaping the landscape of user experiences. While the potential of 5G networks promises to revolutionize digital experiences, its widespread adoption in the US remains a work in progress.

At the core of this digital evolution lies a critical challenge: the distance to core data center hubs continues to be a hindrance, particularly for applications that require low latency. Companies are increasingly turning to edge compute as their key to unlocking optimal mobile app experiences for their users.


Standing out in the sea of apps

App markets like the Apple App Store and Google Play Apps are flooded with various applications that promise users quick connections to friends and family, instant access to the latest movies, music, and games, and even hot food delivered to their front door within the hour. According to recent estimates, an average of 1600+ apps are added to Google Play Apps while 1200+ apps are added to the Apple App Store every day.

With such a robust selection of apps available to users, developers need to ensure that their applications can deliver exceptional experiences across devices and locations to stay competitive. Network latency has surfaced as one of the biggest detractors from a great experience, drastically raising the prospects of critical reviews and eventual user abandonment.

For the countless mobile users worldwide accessing the internet with outdated devices via low-bandwidth connections, mounting specification requirements of the latest applications, coupled with the extensive physical distances data must traverse to and from access servers, result in exceptionally high latency and network instability. These factors significantly diminish the quality of their digital experiences.

Application performance has a direct impact on user satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, its overall success in the market. Considering the globalization of these same applications and their intended expanded markets, optimizing performance to ensure a seamless user experience is critical to maintaining relevance and competitiveness.


Changing the game with edge compute

Enter edge computing – distributed compute technology that processes data closer to the user, bypassing extensive round-trip times. This approach becomes increasingly crucial in creating an ecosystem where optimal response times are the norm.

As edge architecture continues to evolve, technologies like progressive web apps, containers, Kubernetes, and lightweight application services provide fertile ground for innovation that further push the boundaries of service delivery. Containers, with their easy deployment and management, are particularly well-suited for edge applications, offering flexibility, isolation, availability, and centralized management. The synergy of containers and microservices enables seamless scalability.

Zenlayer helps businesses harness this evolution by enabling deployment of application backends at the edge using Zenlayer Bare Metal and VMs, both of which can be quickly and effortlessly self-provisioned using zenConsole within minutes. This strategic and instant deployment helps businesses reduce latency and round-trip time, enhancing the overall user experience of their apps and services. Additionally, edge computing can be leveraged to optimize payload size, ensuring that users receive only the necessary data, a critical consideration in low-bandwidth scenarios.


Edge compute is already everywhere

The applications of edge computing span various industry verticals, each presenting unique challenges and opportunities.

As an example, for businesses, edge computing can be used to bridge subpar connectivity of distant storefronts, sites, and warehouses by processing data at a closer location, rather than waiting for full return trips. Enterprises benefit from accelerated, seamless access to mission-critical applications and improved connectivity for remote team members, elevating overall productivity and operational efficiency. Organizations that rely on real-time data for rapid decision-making will particularly benefit from the drastic reduction in latency.

In entertainment, edge compute can help improve the performance of livestreams and streaming from video-on-demand services, minimizing or eliminating interruptions from constant buffering. And for the 1.5 billion mobile gamers worldwide, edge computing can facilitate augmented reality elements, more responsive microtransactions, and truly immersive sessions with improved game performance free from lags and network disconnections.

For the tourism and travel industry, imagine translation and mapping applications that remain responsive, even in subpar network environments.

Edge computing also encourages better healthcare by enabling real-time processing of patient data to improve the speed and efficiency of critical applications like remote patient monitoring, predictive analytics, and instant access to medical records. Closer proximity in processing not only enhances security, but also supports timely responses to critical medical events, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes.

The same real-time monitoring capabilities supported by edge computing extends to energy production, enhancing its efficiency, distribution, and consumption while enabling remote control of smart grids and devices.

Besides the industries we talked about above, edge computing has already benefited countless facets of our daily lives and continues to foster innovations that make life easier for billions worldwide.


Empower your applications with Zenlayer edge compute

Though the state of infrastructure and connectivity vary across the world, edge compute carries immense transformative potential to improve the digital experiences of mobile users who can only access the internet through low-bandwidth connections. Edge compute is especially powerful as a tool to equalize user experiences across regions and devices, which makes the technology particularly invaluable for businesses expanding into emerging regions.

Zenlayer Bare Metal and VMs take just a few clicks to provision using zenConsole and provide the ideal edge compute environment for deploying your applications and services near users across six continents for drastically improved performance.

If you need help getting started, talk to a Zenlayer solution expert today.

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