Michael Dell: Why edge computing could be the next big thing

Michael Dell believes that edge computing will experience a massive boom in the next few years, citing an increase in the amount of data and the emergence of truly autonomous vehicles as the cause.

Speaking at the Boomi World event in Las Vegas today, the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies joined Dell Boomi's CEO Chris McNabb on stage for a fireside chat after his own keynote. The two discussed how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and edge computing will play a huge role in our increasingly connected future.

When it came to AI, Michael Dell used the analogy of a rocket ship and its fuel to describe how the technology requires data to power it, saying:

“Here’s the thing, if you have all the best data scientists in the world and you have all the great computing power and you have all the great algorithms but you have no data, you’ve got nothing because the data is the fuel for the rocket and I would actually argue that your data is more valuable than your applications.” 

The case for edge computing

Smart sensors and other connected devices have given us even more data to work with and as the the number of IoT deployments increases, this trend will likely continue. 

However, a great deal of this data will not be sent to the cloud but will instead remain on the edge as Michael Dell explained to the audience at today's event, saying:

“Imagine your car is a level four autonomous vehicle and it’s going down the road at 70 to 80 miles an hour and something happens. Do you want to go back to the cloud to get the answer? No, the answer has to be in the car, so you’re going to have distributed intelligence. A level four autonomous car by the way will generate 4TB of data per day. You don’t want to send all 4TB, you would need a couple 5G connections just to do that.”

The cost of edge computing is also incredibly low and the technology has the potential to enable all kinds of new things. 

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.