There is no denying that services available in the Cloud have significant benefits and is hence a popular choice. That is why Voicegain Speech-to-Text Platform is available both in the Cloud and at the Edge. The key benefits of accessing Voicegain as a Cloud services are:
- Ease of Use - All it takes to start accessing Voicegain on the Cloud is to create an account on the Voicegain Web Console and get the developer API keys/security tokens. You can immediately start accessing the APIs that have been extensively documented.
- No Maintenance - Voicegain ensures availability of the infrastructure and is responsible for the software updates and patches, backups, resources, etc.
- High Security - We have the provider spends one time effort on securing the Cloud services for all of the tenants. Although Cloud is potentially more exposed, but the provider can devote more resources to address security in a systematic way.
- High Availability - Cloud provides redundancy of the virtual platform and often geographic distribution. Geographic distribution provides more resiliency to network wide outages, etc.
- Scalability - Cloud provider takes care of the growing demand for resources.
- Lower Sys Admin, DBA etc. costs - This is largely related to the No Maintenance point.
What is Edge Deployment?
Before we discuss the benefits of Edge Deployment let's define what we mean by it.
- Edge Computing is defined broadly as all computing outside the cloud happening at the edge of the network, and more specifically in applications where real-time processing of data is required. Edge of the network, in turn, is usually understood as within the "last mile", that part of the network that physically reaches the end-user's premises.
- What we call Edge Deployment is a deployment of Edge Computing (in our case specifically Speech-to-Text services) either on customer premises (datacenter) or in a VPC of a cloud provider. Compute resources are either owned by or rented by the customer. However the Cloud can 'orchestrate' the deployed application and services it provides is deployed and managed from the Cloud . These services run in virtualized environment (in our case Kubernetes).
Benefits of Edge Deployment
Edge Computing for Speech-to-Text services has many advantages:
- Low Network Latencies & High Network Reliability - With Edge Computing processing of speech audio is brought close to where the audio originates. For example, all processing can be done in the same location where the Telco phone lines terminate for an IVR application. If the speech processing were to happen in the Cloud the audio data would need to be sent over Internet which would introduce additional latency, jitter, and would make the service susceptible to occasional incidents on wide internet like trunks overloaded by DDoS attacks, fiber cuts, etc. One can avoid some of those issues by deploying more reliable network connectivity to the Cloud, e.g., Google Cloud Interconnect, but that comes at the cost and still does not solve the basic reality of extra latency.
- Lower Bandwidth Cost - Some Speech-to-Text applications generate a lot of data, e.g., Call Analytics application that processes 100% of the calls. Edge Deployment allows for putting processing resources right next to where the data is generates, e.g. right at the Call Center.
- Data Privacy and Control - with all the incoming and generated data confided to the Edge Computing environment and none of it going to the Voicegain Cloud, the customers can apply their own security protocols to protect the data.
Does Edge provide some of the benefits of the Cloud?
You may ask - what about the benefits of the Cloud, mentioned upfront? Do I get some of these with the Edge Deployment?
The answer is (qualified) "yes", and specifically:
- Ease of Use - Edge Deployment is fully managed from the Cloud. Deployment of the entire application stack takes a few mouse clicks.
- No Maintenance - Voicegain takes care of managing the components of the application - all the application components will be automatically updated and/or patched.The customer still needs to take care of the hardware and the Kubernetes cluster.
- High Security - The same core application is deployed for all our customers and we have made sure that it is secure. In case of any new vulnerabilities found, they will be automatically patched.The network entry and exit points from the Edge environment are well defined and the customers can provide additional network security for these.
- High Availability - Running on Kubernetes platform our application has been designed with high availability in mind - there are multiple instances of each services, and Kubernetes takes care of failover in case of hardware node failure.Because of the ease of deployment, it is easy for our customers to deploy multiple Edge instances, for example, to achieve geographic distribution.
- Scalability - Again, thanks to the underlying Kubernetes platform, new processing resources can be added by adding new hardware nodes to the Kubernetes cluster, they will be automatically taken advantage of by the Voicegain application.