Connecting Edge Computing with IoT for Smarter Operations

(Attributed to Mr. Somenath Nag, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Strategy, Calsoft)

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In the past decade, Internet of Things (IoT) proliferated across the globe by making things more convenient with smart connected devices. Today, your fingertips can feed data into IoT devices and execute real-time operations at a lightning-fast speed. However, the IoT technology that enables this convenience is more complex, and at the same time – quite interesting! While using IoT devices, we’re leveraging the Edge computing technology that makes all the data processing more efficient.

Edge Computing

In recent times, Edge computing has gained momentum in the world of technology by enabling high-end computing and data storage capabilities. It enables efficiency at every edge of the network, right at the source where the data originates. With efficiency, Edge computing reduces latency to a great extent. Edge computing paves the way for a future-ready, self-efficient network infrastructure – which supports the emerging 5G services.

Edge and IoT Together – Why Does it Matter?

The key reasons why modernized enterprises from multiple business domains leverage Edge for their IoT devices and apps are:

  • Gaining an unmatched speed
  • Executing real-time analysis
  • Providing scalability and versatility
  • Amplifying security
  • Cutting down costs significantly

For enterprises, the first step is furnishing the Edge computing benefits to their IoT application and smart device users. This requires businesses to have a detailed knowledge of how Edge-based IoT technologies work across a network infrastructure.

Here are the four main technologies connecting Edge and IoT:

MEC – Multi-access Edge Computing or Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) is a unique Edge network infrastructure built by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. With MEC, computational and storage functions become more accessible for the end-users. By working within a radio access network (RAN), MEC technology can create drastic improvements in network efficiency by lowering the network congestion. It can also help achieve near-zero latency with a quick turnaround time. By leveraging 5G, MEC helps in delivering app content and deploying app services more efficiently to IoT devices.

Fog computing – Formerly known as network fogging, “Fog Computing” is a decentralized way of running a computing infrastructure where data resources and apps are positioned between the data source and the cloud. According to the Open Fog Consortium, the primary authority over fog computing architecture and testbed development, “Fog computing is a system-level horizontal architecture which distributes the

computing, storage, control, and networking resources and services to anywhere along the continuum from the cloud to multiple IoT device end-points.”

Fog computing is mainly used to distribute, orchestrate, manage, as well as protect network resources across nodes located at the edge. Fog computing is more or less a part of the cloud as it places data and applications between the cloud and the data source.

Cloudlets – A cloudlet is what one may call a small-scale mobile cloud data center. It is located at the edge of the internet and solves one of the hardest challenges in Edge and IoT:

  • Maintaining the end-to-end responsiveness quality between a single node and the associated cloud

Cloudlets enable interactive mobile applications with low-latency access to powerful computing resources. Simply put, a cloudlet is a cluster of servers connected to the internet. It can be made available for ease of use by nearby mobile devices. A one-hop high-speed wireless local area network is good enough to use a cloudlet. In comparison to the cloud, a cloudlet is more agile and dynamically accessible.

Microdata centers – Micro data centers are traditional data centers but in the form of a small containerized system. Micro data centers are designed to enable Edge computing where traditional data centers may lack. Being small in size, micro data centers can be deployed inside as well as outside of the dataflows. They can be used by IoT apps to customize their data center dependencies. With the growing adoption of micro data centers, a recent study by MarketsandMarkets suggests that the micro data center services vertical is likely to double-up from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to USD 6.5 billion by the end of 2025.

Potential Benefits of Edge-based IoT Technologies

To understand and implement the real-world benefits of these technologies, enterprises need proper expertise from specialists in product engineering and cloud computing. With the help of such technologies, Calsoft recently helped an enterprise in implementing its IoT app on the edge of the network. By using the EdgeXFoundry stack, we enabled device management, configuration management, and security management for the app and its services. As a result, the IoT app gained additional capabilities to handle all kinds of data from the edge.

This way, IoT and Edge computing technologies can improve the way you deliver services, process and analyze data, and compute – all at the edge of the network. To get better insights, connect with us for some Edge expertise on running your enterprise better!