I read about “The Edge” these days; a lot. I don’t believe The Edge is singular (unless we are speaking of U2’s guitarist). Instead, I believe we are smack dab (a Farmville-ism) in the middle of the age of edges.
What do I mean by “edges?” In the days of Architectures Past we designed solutions according to the architecture du jour. This was mostly a good thing as architecture (also singular) evolved from dumb terminals through iterations of “smarter terminals” to the age of micro-services. During the iterations, we saw workloads shift and re-balance between servers and clients, followed by an explosion of servers in the middle handling pieces and parts of the workload. From an design perspective, the workload “spidered out” in the middle.
The workload is now “spidering out” from edges.
When Vectors Collide
What used to be server work is making its way to the edges. Database engines have been refactored to run on smaller and more compact devices. This was the inevitable result of vectors colliding:
- Server software became more decoupled.
- Device hardware grew in power.
Is This a Bad Thing?
No. But like all good things it will present new challenges. Most of the challenges will not be identified until something bad happens. though. (Or, pesky engineers will point out dangers that will be deemed “too expensive to address”… Never mind, those engineers will be replaced by engineers who “work well with others,” and the company will continue to save money.)
I can hear some of you thinking, “This is just semantics.” You are correct. Words mean things, however, so semantics count.
Shout-out to Christophe Pichaud, Windows Developer and Microsoft Developer Technologies MVP. I read a message from him on a private-ish email group and was inspired.