A Case Study of Edge Computing Implementations: Multi-access Edge Computing, Fog Computing and Cloudlet

Liang Tian, Xiaorou Zhong


With the explosive growth of intelligent and mobile devices, the current centralized cloud computing paradigm is encountering difficult challenges. Since the primary requirements have shifted towards implementing real-time response and supporting context awareness and mobility, there is an urgent need to bring resources and functions of centralized clouds to the edge of networks, which has led to the emergence of the edge computing paradigm. Edge computing increases the responsibilities of network edges by hosting computation and services, therefore enhancing performances and improving quality of experience (QoE). Fog computing, multi-access edge computing (MEC), and cloudlet are three typical and promising implementations of edge computing. Fog computing aims to build a system that enables cloud-to-thing service connectivity and works in concert with clouds, MEC is seen as a key technology of the fifth generation (5G) system, and cloudlet is a micro-data center deployed in close proximity. In terms of deployment scenarios, Fog computing focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT), MEC mainly provides mobile RAN application solutions for 5G systems, and cloudlet offloads computing power at the network edge. In this paper, we present a comprehensive case study on these three edge computing implementations, including their architectures, differences, and their respective application scenario in IoT, 5G wireless systems, and smart edge. We discuss the requirements, benefits, and mechanisms of typical co-deployment cases for each paradigm and identify challenges and future directions in edge computing.


multi-access edge computing, cloudlet, 5G, fog computing, cloud computing

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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