Let’s say you are a passenger on a cruise ship. Floating in the middle of the ocean, far from reliable Wi-Fi, you wear a device that lets you into your room, discreetly tracks your journey from the bar to the dinner table to the pool, and delivers your drink order wherever you are. You can buy sunscreen or toothpaste or souvenirs from the stores on the ship without touching anything.
If you’re a Carnival Cruise Lines passenger, that’s the reality right now, thanks in part to the company’s partnership with Couchbase, according to Mark Gamble, director of product and solutions marketing, Couchbase.
Couchbase provides cloud-native, SQL-free database technology that is used to power applications from customers such as Carnival, but also Amadeus, Comcast, LinkedIn and Tesco.
In Carnival’s case, Gamble said, “they run a state-of-the-art data center on their ships to power their Ocean Medallion app, which they’re very proud of. They use it a lot in their advertising because it gives them personalized service. , which differentiates them from their customers.
In this episode of The New Stack Makers, Gamble spoke with TNS Managing Editor Heather Joslyn about edge computing, 5G and Couchbase Capella, its database offering as service (DBaaS) for enterprises.
This episode of Makers was sponsored by Couchbase.
5G and offline apps first
The goal of edge computing, Gamble told our podcast audience, is to bring data and computing closer to the applications that consume it. This speeds up data processing, he said, “because data doesn’t have to travel to and from the cloud.” But it also has other advantages
“It serves to make apps more reliable, because processing data locally kind of takes the slowness and outages of the internet out of the equation,” he said.
The innovation of 5G networks has also had a big impact on reducing latency and increasing availability, Gamble said.
“To compare with 4G, things like the average round-trip data transport time between the device and the cell tower is about 15 milliseconds. And with 5G, that latency drops to about two milliseconds. And the 5G can support, they say, a million devices, within a radius of a third of a mile, far more than is possible with 4G.
But 5G, Gamble said, “really requires edge computing to realize its full potential.” Increasingly, he said, Couchbase is hearing customer interest in building “offline-first” apps, which can work even in Wi-Fi dead zones.
Use cases, he says, are everywhere: “When I walk past a fast food joint, it starts to become more common, where you’ll see that instead of just a box you talk to, there’s a person holding a tablet, and they walk along the line, and they take orders. And as they get closer to the restaurant, it syncs with the kitchen. They find that it’s just a better and more efficient way to serve customers. And so, it becomes a forum for competitive differentiation.
As part of Couchbase’s Capella product, it recently announced Capella App Service, a new capability for mobile developers, is a fully managed backend designed for mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and edge applications.
“Developers use it to access and synchronize data between the database as a service and their edge devices, as well as to handle authentication and user management of mobile and edge apps,” he said. he declares.
Used in conjunction with Couchbase Lite, a lightweight embedded NoSQL database used with mobile and IoT devices, Capella App Services syncs data between backend and edge devices.
Even for workers in remote areas, “eventually you need to ensure that data updates are shared with the rest of the ecosystem,” Gamble said. “And that’s what app services are supposed to do, as far as conductivity allows – so during network disruptions in areas without internet, apps will continue to work.”
Check out the rest of the conversation to learn more about edge computing and the challenges that Gamble says still need to be addressed in this space.
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