Edge computing is increasingly becoming the new key technology in IoT networking. But how exactly does the Edge Computing principle work and what are the advantages behind its use? Find the answers in our blog post.
The potential is enormous: According to ISG’s market researchers, Edge Computing is one of the fastest growing IoT segments boasting over 30 percent annual growth, and the market could explode in the short to medium term, writes Industry of Things. What exactly is behind this hotly debated topic?
Data processing at the point of origin
Unlike cloud computing, where data converges centrally in a cloud, edge computing processes data at the edge of the network directly where it is generated. In the context of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) this means directly at the machine.
Data is evaluated either directly at the sensor or in a central processing device. This conserves network resources. According to Industry of Things, most sensor data is purely “disposable data”. It does not all have to be retained and does not therefore have to be forwarded to the cloud or the server.
This is where the Edge Gateway and the Cloud come into play. The Edge Gateway, close to the device, is basically the interface between local and central networks. It ensures that data coming in from the Edge Device is recorded and processed selectively in real time, directly on site, or forwarded to a datacenter in the cloud for further processing via wired or wireless interfaces.
Edge and Cloud Computing go hand in hand
Important information that is still required for later analysis and future use, but is less critical to latency, is prepared and processed in the data cloud so that it can be returned to the device or machine in one form or another
The main advantages of connecting Edge and Cloud Computing are:
- Data can be exchanged and processed almost in real time, especially latency-critical data, which takes place directly at the edge (periphery), and in the case of less latency-critical data, in the cloud.
- Redundant storage of important data in the cloud protects it from network failures.
- Particularly latency-critical and sensitive data does not have to be sent over the network but remains secure in a limited area.
- Edge Gateways separate important information from one-time or disposable data, reducing network load and keeping data volumes relatively low.
- Edge Computing performance can be scaled flexibly as multiple intelligent devices can be deployed at the edge or network periphery.
The Internet of Things is both the driver and the beneficiary of Edge technology. Because of the exponential growth of IoT devices and applications as well as the increasing importance of real-time data, companies are being virtually forced to move to the “data edge”. The cloud computing model alone is no longer sufficient to cope with the flood of data. At the same time, the potential of edge computing is now driving this development forward, enabling completely new applications.
Source title image: iStock / nadla