This article was originally published on CRN. 

Edge computing, perhaps the biggest IT development since cloud computing, was hot in 2020. Incorporating networking, Internet of Things, security, data storage, power management and emerging technologies like 5G, edge computing looks beyond the data center to where many people work and where a lot of data is generated and collected.

One major driver in 2020: When the pandemic forced millions of employees to work from home, they immediately became part of the edge and solution providers had to quickly pivot to support them with laptops, collaboration applications and security tools.

Throughout the year edge computing proved to be a driver of developments within the IT industry – and especially within the channel where edge computing created new target markets and service opportunities for solution providers. Steven De Maayer, chief services officer at NWN Carousel, told CRN about how the solution provider was responding to increased demand for edge computing solutions to ensure client employees were connected and secured.

The rapid growth in demand for edge computing technology drove developments among IT vendors. Aruba, coming off its $925 million acquisition of Silver Peak, upped the ante in its secure intelligent edge battle with rivals Cisco Systems and Palo Alto Networks by integrating Silver Peak’s SD-WAN technology with its AI-based ClearPass security platform.

Edge computing is also giving rise to startups like Infiot, which exited stealth in October, Liqid and Edgeworx.