Now that the Internet of Things is starting to gain real market penetration in the manufacturing industry, there are real questions surrounding what type of network set-up to use to achieve optimal results.
What is the difference between Edge Computing and Cloud Computing?
With cloud computing, the storage and computing resources exist somewhere else. Meaning not on-site. Oftentimes, a company will not know where they are located.
Edge computing, however, places the storage and computing resources close to the user or the source of the data.
Why are the Downsides of Utilizing Cloud Computing for the Internet of Things?
Cloud computing resources exist away from the IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors which connect to them. This can cause real problems when IoT devices or sensors try to interact with them. It can cause increased latency (the time it takes to register data). This, in-turn, can cause inaccurate or loss of data, which may be needed to operate system critical hardware.
Why Edge Computing?
Edge computing deploys the computing and storage resources very close to either the source of the data or the end-user. This results in many upsides for use of real-time data.
There are several factors that can dictate the latency of data in a network: the transmission of data through the physical parts of the network (e.g. routers, firewalls, etc), the health of those physical parts, and the amount of time it takes to process that data. Deploying Edge computing components as close as possible to the devices it interacts with cuts down on the physical latency of the data. It also decreases data processing time as the computer doesn’t need to wait as long to receive that data.
Data is transmitted in packets between networked components such as devices and sensors. Shortening the physical parts of the network increases the accuracy of that data transmission, as there are less places for it to be corrupted or lost in some way.
Security is also enhanced when you don’t store data off-site, as there are less ways for a hacker to access the data. In addition, physical security measures such as locating the computers behind locked doors, implementing video monitoring, or even physical guards can reduce the probability of leaked information.
In essence, Edge Computing is simply made for implementing real-time IoT applications.