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How Microsoft customers should prepare for intelligent edge investment

by Eamon McCarthy Earls
Assistant Editor,

It's no secret that Microsoft and other major cloud providers are pushing more businesses to embrace edge computing. References to "the edge" are commonplace at conferences and Microsoft has introduced new offerings in this area, like IoT Edge, Azure Stack Edge, and Azure Percept. But what does all the talk of edge computing really mean, and what is the role going forward for a so-called "intelligent edge"?

MSCloudNews spoke with Andy Nelson, Principal Architect for Cloud and Data Center at Insight about the growing case for an intelligent edge. He described the ways he sees edge computing expanding alongside traditional computing infrastructure, and how Microsoft customers can get started.

A growth area for partners

Nelson joined Insight through its acquisition of Datalink. Insight has almost 10,000 personnel, focused on everything from custom app development to e-business, tablets, VDI, and devices. But intelligent edge services have emerged as one of the company's areas with the greatest potential for growth going forward, Nelson said.

Everybody knows that the edge is the next frontier, but I would argue the edge isn't new. I come from the utility, pipeline and manufacturing industry. SCADA and plant automation has been semi-intelligent for a long time. But that intelligence is now on commodity devices and networks, extending to every house in a neighborhood or every tree in a tree farm. But in many cases, it is not very well developed. Everyone is trying to do things with Raspberry Pi. This works great for the first phase and pilot but as you start to scale, you need to look at more purpose built technology and software.

Container architecture

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.