Edge computing is also very powerful in situations where it’s difficult to connect to the cloud. For example, in agriculture. Most farms are in rural areas where wi-fi may not be readily available. So even though tractors or sensors in the ground are collecting information, decisions such as when to turn on a water system or when an area needs to be fertilized may be delayed until data can be uploaded to the cloud to be processed. If a small processer was located on the farm and connected to the sensors via bluetooth, then these insights could be generated much faster. By having processing on the edge in this situation, data turns instantaneously into action.
Also, in situations where enormous amounts of data are generated every second. For example, on planes, sensors are connected to almost every part – they’re on the wings, the engine, the landing gear, etc. According to Forbes, today on an average flight between 60-100 gigabytes of data is collected and over the next ten years this number is expected to increase to between 5-8 terabytes. Could you imagine the costs of uploading this information in real-time to the cloud while the flight was in the air? In situations like this, its integral to have a processor located on the device or plane in this case to make in the moment decisions without having to worry about the additional costs of sending all of this data to the cloud to be processed.
Edge computing has become more common place with the adoption of small inexpensive processors, such as the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pis and similar devices allow companies to place processors on devices and make decisions in the moment. In the future, devices like these will power the majority of IoT solutions. However, we shouldn’t expect the cloud to be abandoned. Cloud and fog computing will still play a major role when it comes to storing data and making prescriptive decisions based on that data. However, for most decisions that need to happen in the moment we’ll need to go over the cloud, through the fog and onto the edge!
Entrigna specalizes in creating custom IoT solutions that can be run in the cloud or on the edge. For more information on starting an edge based IoT solution, please visit our website.
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