AI at the Edge Report. Chapter 2: Relay2 and Edge AI

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05 Mar, 2024

AI at the Edge Report. Chapter 2: Relay2 and Edge AI

Wi-Fi and Edge Computing: Transforming AI Applications

Our new report, AI at the Edge: Technology Accelerated by Wi-Fi Services, dives deeply into the convergence of Wi-Fi services and Edge AI and explores how a technology model like WaaS can accelerate the adoption of AI at the edge. 

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the report. To read the full report, including in-depth case studies, download it now.

The convergence of Wi-Fi and edge computing stands as a formidable force driving the ongoing shift to digital today. This convergence presents a pioneering paradigm for connectivity. It empowers enterprises with the capabilities of both managed Wi-Fi services and on-device data processing at the edge, enabling them to stay in step with, if not one step ahead of, the evolving digital landscape. 

Wi-Fi analytics services, in essence, revolutionize Wi-Fi deployment through a cloud-based service model, offering a complete package of managed Wi-Fi infrastructure and services. This strategic approach spares organizations from the significant capital investments typically associated with Wi-Fi infrastructure, affording them the opportunity to harness the expertise of service providers for broad network management. As a result, businesses can concentrate on their primary operations without having to worry about the intricacies of network maintenance. Simultaneously, the advent of edge computing ushers in a paradigm shift by migrating computational processes to the data source, thereby reducing latency and enabling real-time analytics and decision-making. This strategic switch from centralized computing models results in a notable enhancement of response time and operational efficiency, thanks to reduced bandwidth requirements and lower latency.

At the heart of this technological transformation are the edge applications, which play a pivotal role within the Wi-Fi-edge-computing space. These applications harness the potential of edge computing for localized data processing and analytics, giving rise to real-time insights, seamless integration of artificial intelligence, advancements in IoT, and immersive user experiences. AI applications at the edge can accelerate innovation and enable organizations from various sectors to upgrade their services and maximize their operational efficiency.

  1. Empowering Organizational Agility: The convergence of Wi-Fi and Edge Computing offers a dynamic solution that equips organizations with the ability to scale their Wi-Fi infrastructure in response to ever-evolving demands. By executing localized data processing and applications at the edge reinforced with Wi-Fi Analytics Services, businesses can seamlessly expand their network infrastructure and minimize their reliance on centralized data processing, thus optimizing bandwidth utilization and curtailing expenses.

  2. Improving Cost-Efficiency and Streamlining Infrastructure Management: With Wi-Fi Networking and Edge Computing convergence, organizations can delegate the management and upkeep of Wi-Fi networks to service providers, hence alleviating the complexities of network infrastructure management while reaping the benefits of trustworthy and proficient Wi-Fi services. This also minimizes the initial financial burdens associated with building and maintaining Wi-Fi infrastructure. This integration yields the merits of both a cloud-managed Wi-Fi framework and local data processing, delivering immediate data insights and facilitating real-time decision-making.

  3. Enhancing Performance and Reducing Latency: Leveraging local data processing at the network edge significantly mitigates latency in comparison to transmitting data across long distances to the cloud. This, in turn, results in prompt response times, enriched user experiences, and substantial improvements in application performance.

In other words, Wi-Fi Services with Edge Computing emerges as a pivotal catalyst for digital transformation. Through its localized data processing capabilities, it delivers faster (low latency), more efficient (less bandwidth usage), and highly secure (enhanced security) data handling to enable real-time decision-making, which is a central factor of many applications, including autonomous driving, healthcare, and smart factories.

Relay2 ServiceEdge Platform: Reshaping Wi-Fi Access Point Technology

In a recent study by Gartner, analysts estimated that by 2025, 75% of all enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of the cloud or traditional centralized data centers . These predictions highlight the significance of edge computing and its growth in enabling AI applications at the edge. This is where Relay2’s Service Point technology emerges, providing a state-of-the-art, all-in-one solution that combines Wi-Fi services with edge computing.

Relay2's Service Point technology marks a substantial advancement in the field of Wi-Fi access point technology, pushing the boundaries of what conventional access points can achieve. Traditional access points may offer fundamental connectivity, yet they frequently fall short in providing the essential features required to fully exploit the potential of edge computing. The Relay2 Wi-Fi Service Point is a high-caliber Wi-Fi access point that incorporates inherent edge computing capabilities. It offers the capacity to host and execute local edge applications, which are either native software applications or equivalent counterparts of cloud-based applications. This convergence of edge computing at the Wi-Fi access point results in enhanced application and service performance, real-time interaction and response, and secure data processing, ensuring privacy and confidentiality.

Using Relay2’s Service Point, businesses can leverage Wi-Fi services with edge computing to reap the following benefits:

  1. Efficient use of extra computing resources: By delegating computational duties from centralized servers to the Service Point devices, enterprises can enhance their network's overall performance and diminish latency. These devices have powerful processors and extensive memory, which enable streamlined handling of complex computing tasks at the edge of the network.

  2. Enhanced performance, reliability, and security: Service Point devices have built-in security features and advanced encryption protocols that support organizations’ privacy and integrity of their data. Furthermore, these devices are engineered to manage substantial data workloads and sustain unwavering performance, even in challenging operational settings.

  3. Streamlining infrastructure and achieving sustainable cost efficiency: Businesses can significantly benefit from an all-in-one device that integrates switches, routers, and computer servers, enabling them to optimize their network infrastructure and minimize long-term operational and maintenance costs. This comprehensive approach simplifies deployment and management processes, granting organizations the ability to allocate their resources with increased efficiency.

Relay2 has taken one step further and has developed a cutting-edge platform called the ServiceEdge Platform. This platform is purpose-built to coordinate and oversee Relay2 Service Points and the edge-based applications they host, all orchestrated seamlessly from the cloud. The Relay2 ServiceEdge Platform comprises a network edge device (the Relay2 Wi-Fi Service Point), combined with a cloud portal service that allows for the management and coordination of Wi-Fi networking, Service Point, and edge computing. This platform enables the distribution, hosting, provisioning, and automation of custom-built or open-source edge applications via the Edge Apps Orchestrator. The overarching goal of the Relay2 ServiceEdge Platform is to offer a more efficient solution for WaaS providers to overcome the challenges of increasing operating costs and diminished ROI. By incorporating edge computing for advanced value-added services, this platform seeks to enhance the competitiveness of WaaS providers in the marketplace.

Going beyond the conventional Wi-Fi access points focused on network connectivity, Relay2 Service Points introduce advanced edge-computing capabilities. These capabilities enable the hosting of edge applications within the Wi-Fi network in closest proximity to users and data sources. Relay2 expands the reach of edge computing, providing an opportunity for cloud computing applications to leverage the deployment of their edge-computing equivalents. 

The Relay2 Edge Apps Orchestrator stands out in the market due to a set of unique and compelling features. It introduces hierarchical, tiered-account cloud management services tailored to distributors, service providers, and end customers, facilitating Cloud Wi-Fi network management for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) while reducing operational expenses. Notably, the Edge Application Store within the Relay2 Wi-Fi Cloud Manager presents a distinct advantage, allowing MSPs to swiftly download and install prequalified applications for Service Points, expediting proof-of-concept for value-added services. Furthermore, Relay2 offers a cloud portal for provisioning, management, and automation of application hosting and settings on Service Points, enhancing user convenience through centralized configuration and administration. The platform also seamlessly orchestrates docker containers with its patented edge container system, streamlining the dynamic deployment of containerized edge applications while optimizing resource utilization and simplifying application management.

Leveraging docker containers for the development of edge applications on Service Points, Relay2 fosters a developer-friendly, open-source environment, enabling IT technicians to create and deploy applications efficiently, thereby reducing time-to-market. Lastly, the Relay2 Cloud Manager provides feature-rich graphics, user interfaces, and monitoring capabilities, offering comprehensive insights into edge-computing applications and network performance for organizations.

With Relay2 ServiceEdge Platform, businesses and developers can take part in the digital transformation and benefit from Relay2’s store of ready-made edge-computing applications to reduce their time to market and enhance their infrastructure’s scalability and flexibility with unparalleled automation and orchestration. They can also boost their operational efficiency with streamlined IT operations enabled by a centralized cloud-based management portal, all the while future-proofing their digital network infrastructure and unlocking new opportunities in emerging technologies like AI and IoT.

This was an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the AI at the Edge: Technology Accelerated by Wi-Fi Services report. If you would like to read the full report, including in-depth case studies, you can download it below.