Edge computing, the notion of a machine or a cluster of machines that communicates with nearby clients in physically closer proximity than datacenters, has seen a constant increase in practical use in recent years. By expanding the computational power of the cloud while significantly reducing latency and alleviating bandwidth loads off datacenters, edge computing led to a new programming paradigm allowing new types of applications to emerge with clear benefits to end users. Despite these benefits, application development for the edge has not been as widespread as initially expected. Current edge offerings often fail to meet the requirements of the distributed, dynamic environment applications need to leverage the edge, as they neglect to address the high mobility and interactivity of devices. In this paper, we describe the new landscape of edge applications and their requirements, present core abstractions for ephemeral and long-living communication between entities, and propose Vertex, a unified environment that will profoundly accommodate edge applications while efficiently utilizing the geo-distributed nature of the edge.




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