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How an edge solution can support print infrastructure for remote locations

06 Dec 2019

Article by Y Soft Corporation chief technology strategist Ondřej Krajíček

Supporting print infrastructure in remote locations is challenging and can be costly for businesses.

Some of the main problems that companies face include delays, excessive costs for the amount of data needed to be transferred over the network, and increased data security concerns.

These issues are related to connectivity and speed, which affects all businesses, regardless of size.

The solution is to incorporate edge computing, according to Y Soft.

The cloud has offered companies new ways of storing data and managing systems, including print infrastructure.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean companies have adequate technology in place that can withstand large amounts of data transfer and keep their information private.

Edge computing enhances the ability of the cloud by providing solutions for its shortfalls.

This means businesses can operate effectively and efficiently.

According to a recent survey by Y Soft, 26% of SMBs in Australia already use edge computing and 55% prefer cloud print management services used with an edge device in place.

There are three main issues that an edge solution will improve:

1. Latency

Staff may find a lag between when they hit send on the computer to when the document is received by the printer.

This is because a delay occurs due to the amount of traffic being sent through the network to the cloud, processed and then sent back to the printer.

This problem is common in remote locations or branch offices, and can also occur in corporate headquarters.

Through edge computing, latency caused by the round trip to and from the cloud can be eliminated by having an edge device to process print jobs onsite.

2. Bandwidth costs

There are costs associated with transferring and streaming large amounts of data via the network to the cloud.

As companies digitalise their systems, this will become increasingly prevalent as the volume of data escalates.

The data that is transferred, either from the remote office to headquarters or to the cloud and back, is costly as it happens in real-time and cannot be scheduled for off-peak times.

Bandwidth can be reduced through edge computing because the print job processing can remain local, travelling only from the client workstation to the edge device and to the printer.

Only metadata is sent over the network to the cloud for storage and analysis, which is significantly less in size.

3. Data privacy and security

Although cloud platform providers are improving privacy and security through lnfrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) tools, mistakes can still happen, putting company data at risk.

The data constantly transmitted between remote offices, headquarters, and the cloud, is potentially vulnerable to hackers.

It only takes one mistake or a weak link in security for adversaries to hack into various customers or sensitive data.

The Y Soft survey also found that for 57% of Australian organisations security is the top concern for cloud-based print management.

Because print jobs can be processed locally with edge computing, data remains secure and private on the company’s network.

Edge computing will play a vital role in overcoming the challenge of managing vast volumes of data.

By incorporating edge technology, organisations can better manage connectivity and keep data processing closer to where the data actually is, which will result in cost efficiencies and better services.

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