As hardware developers create robust technologies designed to fit into smaller and smaller devices, and the availability of wireless internet continues to expand into the far reaches of the country, the internet of things (IoT) has become a booming subsector in tech. Connected devices have become more prevalent in workplaces and in people’s personal lives as the benefits of the continuous nature of the connection, especially for data transmission, become more realized.
But the sheer volume of data being exchanged creates certain challenges, particularly in device-heavy areas like cities or smart buildings. This is even truer when the system operating behind the technology is older and simply not designed to handle the massive influx of data these devices can create.
However, there is a solution that is better designed to handle the hardships associated with IoT, involving the blending robust cloud technologies with edge computing. But, to get the most value, it is crucial you understand how these systems work. Here’s what you need to know.
The Cloud and the Edge
At its core, the cloud is highly similar to a remote data center. It uses substantial storage and processing power, typically in a somewhat centralized location, to perform computing oriented tasks while allowing those with access to connect to the system from almost anywhere. The networks tend to be robust and high-performance, but there can latency issues.
To speed up the processing of IoT data, companies are seeking options that place the computing capacity closer to the devices that are supplying and receiving information, and that’s where edge computing comes in. These systems allow the computations to take place closer to the devices themselves, decreasing latency to increase efficiency.
Mixing the Cloud and the Edge
In an IoT environment, blending the capabilities of the cloud with those of edge computing creates an ideal scenario. The cloud can handle more intensive tasks that don’t require as quick a turnaround while edge computing creates a more responsive experience on the connected devices. Each portion of the system can interact, allowing data to flow freely between the two whenever necessary. This optimizes the use of networking and computing resources while ensuring end users can benefit from the increased level of processing efficiency.
Edge computing is still a relatively new concept but is expected to grow as wireless carriers begin to move toward 5G technology. Since the widespread availability of 5G isn’t anticipated in the US for a few more years, now is the perfect time to begin examining your network architecture to accommodate edge capabilities once they become available. Essentially, by preparing today, you position your business to leverage the technology more fully as it becomes available, which can allow you to get ahead of your competition, from a technological perspective, if they don’t take similar actions.
IoT is likely to remain a mainstay in tech for the foreseeable future, so being able to take full advantage of what these devices and their data can do for you is simply smart business.