The cloud is becoming increasingly distributed, with container technologies allowing easy deployment of what had been cloud functionality to devices at the edge of the network. What began with function-as-a-service runtimes has now graduated to supporting PaaS tools and technologies, stretching the cloud platform from public hyperscale data centers down to low-cost devices running on your network.
Microsoft has been talking about “the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge” for a long time now, with a focus on finding ways around the bandwidth crunch between data sources and data processing in cloud architectures. There’s a certain level of self-interest in this approach, with hyperscale data centers close to cheap power but a long way from metropolitan population densities and relatively cheap bandwidth. If power is cheap and data is expensive, then why not process it close to the source?