Edge computing and IoT – what you need to know

Al Sisto

Blog by: Al Sisto - 28 / Oct / 2021

We are all familiar with the internet of things (IoT) by now. Most companies have some form of IoT enabled and that adoption is only set to expand. Previously, the logic was to have all these devices routed through a single cloud database. But that seems to be changing.

Edge computing is rising in popularity as it reduces latency and improves performance by putting the data storage closer to the acquisition point. Here’s what you need to know about edge computing and IoT.

What is edge computing?

Edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to the devices where it’s being gathered, rather than relying on a central location that can be thousands of miles away. This is done so that data, especially real-time data, does not suffer latency issues that can affect an application’s performance. In addition, companies can save money by having the processing done locally, reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed in a centralized or cloud-based location. This could be facilitated by an edge gateway at each processing location with dedicated internet links like 5G, LAN or private WiFi. But each deployment will have different needs, so it’s best to work with a partner to scope out requirements.

How does edge computing work with IoT?

IoT benefits from having computing power closer to where a physical device or data source exists. For the data produced by IoT sensors and devices to be analysed quickly so it can be used to react faster or mitigate issues, it needs to be analysed at the edge, rather than moving back to a central site before that analysis can take place. That means, at the bare minimum, your IoT devices can make quicker automated decisions. This is great if you are operating a high-efficiency factory, need to know the real-time weather conditions of your crops or are managing an in-demand product launch. Cutting down latency with edge computing improves the performance of your IoT devices. But there are additional benefits to consider.

How is it better?

Beyond increased sensory performance through lower latency, you’ll also expect improved data analytics. It follows the same logic. If you’re making data-based decisions closer to the source, you’ll wait less time to return a result. Security may also be improved as you’ll make it harder to take down your ecosystem from a central point. Lastly, it may cost less. You won’t need to have such a large cloud and data centre footprint. Overall, edge computing is a hybrid model that puts the responsiveness where you need it - locally. It doesn’t have any performance drop-offs. And it still taps into a connected, virtual cloud ecosystem when needed. For most businesses, this is the win-win future state they need to get to for maximum efficiency.

 

 

Topics: IoT, IIoT, edge computing

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