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March 1, 20238 min read

Edge Computing and the Path to Modern Endpoint Management​

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Endpoint Management has been evolving since the advent of computing. From personal computing of the 80s and 90s, to the mobility era of the 2000s-2010s, all the way to the AI-powered phase of the future. This IT function has gone through many transformations to keep up with the primary computing paradigms of the day. But, with the pace of change accelerating most endpoint management solutions have fallen behind – applying old techniques to new challenges.

With few alternatives, IT have been left applying legacy technology built for traditional paradigms to modern scenarios and applications. This often leaves them flat footed and reactionary to real-time threats and moving at what can feel like dial-up pace deploying software, updates, and patches across the network. We are getting the results we deserve – and we will continue to see the same results until we meet modern problems with modern solutions.

Modern Endpoint Management solutions, through the evolution of intelligent automation, should bring the promise of autonomy. It may sound ambitious, but the goal of endpoint management automation should not be less human intervention, it should be non-human.

The Adaptiva OneSite Platform is what sets Adaptiva endpoint management applications apart from any in the industry – and is what enables real-time visibility of all your devices, and immediate software delivery to endpoints in any location and on any network connection. When you deploy the Adaptiva client to your devices, a private Adaptiva OneSite instance is created automatically in your environment and powers a backbone of virtualized computing resources on infrastructure that you already own – the endpoints themselves. The platform scales as you grow, without additional infrastructure investments or cloud costs. That means each Adaptiva customer has their own unique, and private implementation of the Adaptiva OneSite Platform. It is not a public, multitenant environment that comes with unpredictable cost and an attack surface that you don’t control.

While the economic, environmental, and technological benefits of this approach are staggering, edge cloud is still a nascent computing paradigm. This article helps explain what the Adaptiva OneSite Platform is, why we call it that, what edge computing is, and the benefits of this approach to computing as it relates to modern endpoint management.

What is the Adaptiva OneSite Platform (and why do we call it that)?

What is an 'Edge Cloud Platform'?

Traditionally speaking, an edge cloud platform is a type of computing platform that is designed to support applications and services at the edge of the network, closer to the devices and users that need them. Edge cloud platforms typically use distributed architectures, with computing resources located at multiple locations throughout the network, rather than in a centralized data center whether on-premises or in the cloud. The way most edge cloud platforms achieve this is by standing up “edge servers” and hosting them in a facility near the edge of the network.

The main advantage of an edge cloud platform is that it can provide low-latency, high-bandwidth access to compute services, which is critical for applications and services that require real-time processing or high-speed data transmission. This benefits a wide range of applications and use cases. More specifically it is the most efficient way to distribute software, updates, commands, and other types of content to devices across a network.

Overall, an edge cloud platform can provide a flexible and scalable solution for deploying and managing devices and the applications that are installed on it at the edge of the network.

What is Adaptiva's OneSite Platform?

The Adaptiva OneSite Platform differs from traditional edge computing platforms, in that Adaptiva’s architecture is based on sophisticated peer-to-peer protocols that use the computing resources of the devices already at the edge of the network, rather than servers that are in a relatively close physical location. Put simply, in Adaptiva’s case you can think of all your Windows endpoint devices as a server unto themselves – and for OneSite customers, it is this edge cloud architecture that allows you to significantly reduce your reliance on distribution points to support System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) use cases.

The Adaptiva OneSite Platform is made up of highly adaptive peer-to-peer protocols that detect, harvest, and pool together the surplus computing capacity of the endpoint devices you’re managing on your network. Rather than relying on a pool of computing resources from servers (whether in the public cloud or on-prem) as explained above, it is through this pool of computing resources on the endpoint devices that Adaptiva can continuously deliver software, configurations, and patches to endpoints no matter where they are. And, because there aren’t complex webs of servers powering the workload – customers get real-time and transparent visibility over this environment, a significantly more fault tolerant and redundant computing resource that keeps the edge of a business healthy.

There isn’t a platform or distribution engine that is faster or more efficient than the Adaptiva OneSite Platform in distributing content to endpoints.

While peer-to-peer architectures haven’t always been considered an aspect of edge computing, we are seeing signs that is changing. In 2022 Gartner® placed Peer-to-Peer Edge (P2P Edge) on its Hype Cycle™ for Edge Computing, 2022 report*. In that report it defined P2P Edge as, “computing [that] enables distributed computing across an edge environment for resilience, workload orchestration, horizontal scaling, swarm learning, and interaction and cooperation between edge computing nodes using local or mesh networking as an enabling technology.” We 100% agree with Gartner’s assessment of why this is important, especially in terms of modern endpoint management, which states, “Much of the early focus on edge computing has been extending intelligent things to the cloud and extending cloud capabilities closer to users and things at the edge. As more things connect at the edge, there will be a growth in capability, processing, interaction, and decision making across things — creating systems of interaction at the edge. These systems can leverage each other for resilience, horizontal scaling, and orchestration of work.”

How Edge Computing Enables Modern Endpoint Management

Modern endpoint management always requires complete visibility and real-time control of all endpoints. There can’t be latency in the process, especially with the level of cyberthreats permeating the world daily, and any blind spots will prove fatal. It’s not possible to enable the real-time oversight and instant content delivery that is necessary to achieve this through traditional methods. The most viable solution is through edge computing, and the Adaptiva OneSite Platform in particular, which comes with several inherent benefits including improved performance, lower latency, reduced overhead, and increased security.

  • Improved performance: By bringing computation and data storage closer to the edge of the network, edge computing can help reduce the amount of time it takes for data to be processed and acted upon. This can be especially beneficial for applications that require real-time processing, such as Patch Management, OneSite Health, and software distribution.
  • Lower latency: In traditional computing architectures, data must be sent to a remote server for processing (in the cloud or on-prem), which can add significant latency. With edge computing, data can be processed closer to where it is generated, reducing the amount of time it takes for a response to be returned. This can make applications feel more responsive and improve the user experience.
  • More efficient use of resources: Edge computing can help reduce the strain on central servers by offloading most of the workload to devices at the edge of the network. This can help reduce the need for expensive and energy-intensive data centers and make more efficient use of resources.
  • Better support for Digital Workplace and Employee Experience: Edge computing is well-suited for the growing number of devices across distributed enterprises, with the rise of remote work as the norm since the COVID-19 pandemic. By bringing computation and data storage closer to the edge of the network, edge computing can help ensure that these devices can function reliably and efficiently, even in environments where network connectivity is limited.
  • No Cost Linear Scale: The Adaptiva OneSite Platform scales linearly as more endpoints are added to the network, capacity goes up automatically without additional expense. With server-based designs, as you add more endpoints to the network your servers will run out of capacity and need to be expanded, which will increase complexity of management and overall cost.
  • Dynamic Infinite Capacity: The Adaptiva OneSite Platform can harness so much capacity at the edge of your existing network that it is impossible to overload it. You can freely keep adding more functionality and load to the system without worrying about running out of capacity. It also does this dynamically, without IT having to provision and maintain resources.
  • Extreme Fault Tolerance: The Adaptiva OneSite Platform runs itself, and never suffers outages. The platform relies on endpoint devices that are regularly attended to, if it breaks the user quickly gets it fixed, so these devices rarely suffer significant downtime. Further, due to its adaptive nature if a few devices go down, it automatically shifts the load to other devices and resources. On the other hand, the natural state of a server-based system is to fall apart and stop working. People and tools have to be deployed to keep datacenters running, because the natural state of an unattended server is to stop working, it is just a matter of time.

If you’re tired of the same approach to endpoint management that doesn’t work and doesn’t scale – let us show you how edge computing can modernize your approach and simplify your work.

Andy Tolton, Sr. Dir. Corporate Marketing, contributed to this article.

*Gartner, Hype Cycle for Edge Computing, 2022, Bob Gill, Philip Dawson, Thomas Bittman, 12 July 2022

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. GARTNER and Hype Cycle is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.


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