What is EDGE Computing? Its architecture and examples!
With the increase in the amount of data being transferred over the Internet, there was a high need for some reliable sources where we can store and process our data with ease, security, and reliability. Cloud computing was the best solution for these needs and companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft efficiently provided these services. But with increased technology innovations and IOT enabled devices there is a need for fast data processing. This is where Edge computing comes into action.
What is Edge Computing
Edge computing is implementation and method of processing data nearest to the network that generates it. IOT enabled devices generate huge amount of data and centralized data-processing warehouse is not fast enough to send responses back to the network in less time. Sometimes faster data processing can be compromised, other times minor lag in processing speed can be dangerous and deadly. Consider an autonomous vehicle, it should respond to any signals generated by the computer on wheels right away. Otherwise, a serious mishap is highly expected. Autonomous cars should respond to their surroundings instantly. Edge computing can be deployed in this scenario to produce a perfect outcome. If we process this data within the computer of this car or some local computer or server, we can greatly improve the reliability and efficiency of this technology. We can define edge computing as:
Edge computing is an architecture having decentralized processing power that enables IoT Technologies and Mobile computing. The data is being processed by the device itself or as close as possible to where it is created, saving the time needed to send it through long routes to the cloud data centers.
Edge Computing Architecture
Here is a reference architecture of edge computing that can be used for the internet of things solutions. Complete architecture details are complex and would need hours of explanation. We would try to give an overview of the technologies that come to action.
Devices generate data that is sent for processing. These sources can be used to generate this data:
Sensors, Appliances, Applications, Social media or any other custom system. This data is sent to edge gateway system using one of these technologies: Wifi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, NFC, Zigbee etc.
The choice of Data sources and transport medium depends entirely upon the industry.
Data Communication Protocols:
Before devices communicate with each other they need to agree on some set of protocols for perfect communication. This is exactly like the different languages used in the countries.
These are some of the communication protocols. MQTT, AMQP, SSI, HTTP, CoAP.
The edge gateways process the data being received from IoT devices. This gateway is used to enable the two-way communication between IoT devices and Edge system. Also, it is important for detecting the issues with the system and complete process.
Application interfaces are very important for administrators to see the dashboard of the system to realize the working and to ensure everything is working as per the company’s requirements. Some configuration changes for the system can be done using this interface. It can be in the form of a web application that is always available. It involves:
Back-end platforms for: Ingestion, Orchestration, Modeling, Analytics.
Examples of Edge Computing
We have tried to give an overview of the trending and hot technology that is already being deployed and used by various real-world applications. Here are some examples of Edge computing enabled applications.
- Autonomous Vehicles
- Fleet Management
- Predictive Maintenance
- Voice Assistance
- Traffic Management
- Video Orchestration
This was a brief introduction of Edge computing and why it is being used and preferred by various IoT enabled devices and applications. The technology is like an ocean; each device and architecture are a complete technical skill.
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