The first electronic computers, like ENIAC, were entirely centralised-no networks, indeed not even peripherals.
Over time, computing power shifted toward peripherals, until peripherals were in fact computers themselves, and a whole new architecture, of client/server computing was born.
Over the decades, this architecture of client/server has remained the dominant paradigm of computing–with sometimes the bulk of the computation and data storage taking place on the client (we used to call these ‘fat’ clients), and sometimes that taking place on the server (so called thin clients). This has more or less been the model of web based computing since the dawn of the Web, though with the increases in the capabilities of browsers, particularly the advent of PWAs in recent years, the shift from the primacy of the server to the primacy of the client seems to be playing out once more.
But, something very interesting has been happening in the last few, years, something I feel that is gaining momentum, and which might dislodge client/server as the dominant architecture of computing.
Back to the edge
The term ‘edge computing’ has been long used to describe an important aspect of network architectures
An edge device is any piece of hardware that controls data flow at the boundary between two networks. Edge devices fulfill a variety of roles, depending on what type of device they are, but they essentially serve as network entry — or exit — points.Tech Target: What is an Edge Device
It is relatively early days, but I feel the possibilities these new edge technologies bring will have an even greater impact than NodeJS did a decade or more ago.
Edge at Lazy Load
- Austin Gil will set the scene by asking “What the heck is Edge Computing anyway?” covering cover things like: – What are the benefits – What are the limitations – When it makes sense – When it doesn’t make sense – How to get started
- Andrew Betts will consider how we Design for distributed applications–Executing at the edge is not only very cool and the Latest Thing, it is also a boon to efficiency, is environmentally aware, and a great way to increase the reliability and availability of applications too
- Phil Hawksworth will take a look at Edge tooling—What, when, and where to do the work of delivering your site.
- While Brian LeRoux looks at AWS Lambda in 5 minutes, Jon Kuperman gives an Introduction to Cloudflare Workers, Josh Johnson covers Edge Computing with Akamai and Kailan Blanks covers Fastly [email protected].
All this on top of nearly a dozen other presentations on all things front end performance.
Early bird pricing ends next Friday, and we’d love to see you there!
In 2022 we have a whole series of events for Front End Developers
Across 2022 Web Directions is presenting our series of online conferences for front end designers and developers. Focussed deep dives, they go far beyond what you might expect from conference programs.
Priced individually from $195, or attend all 6, plus get access to our conference presentation platform Conffab for just $595, or $59 a month.