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Why Edge computing is important for Internet of things

In our Edge computing series, we saw how this cutting-edge technological advancement will shape up the next era. The future of Edge computing undisputedly lies in mobile edge computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). But, is it so obvious?

Though IoT and Edge computing are two separate topics and technologies, it cannot be denied that they share a strong relationship. IoT enables us to connect millions of physical devices making our daily tasks easier. Edge computing is a concept to process data nearest to the source device. The question arises – why we need to use Edge computing for IoT?  Cannot it be done using cloud computing or some other method of data processing? Is this because of the huge amount of data being produced by the devices? Do we need Edge computing for achieving the optimum system performance and efficiency?

Why Edge computing is important for the Internet of things

IoT is growing at a very fast rate and the devices being added to it are generating massive amounts of data. We need to handle and process such enormous data without difficulties at a much faster pace. Edge computing has some great benefits over cloud computing and other technologies, few of such advantages are stated below.

Data Security:

If we use cloud computing for IoT, we would have to transfer data to the cloud that would increase the risks and compromise the security. The privacy and security can be easily violated. On the other hand, if we use Edge computing we can process the data closer to the source of data. This ensures a more secure environment with lesser risks.

Speed:

Faster processing, immediate response, and subsequent decision making have become a necessity for all corporates and institutions to efficiently operate. For IoT applications, these factors assume more importance and Edge computing provide an assurance for the much-needed real-time data processing. If we send data back and forth to the central cloud warehouse, it would increase the time of data processing defeating the underlying objective. Hence, it can be rightly argued that the Edge computing technology through its capability of processing the data within the device, significantly reduce the time taken to process data.

Ability to work offline:

IoT is supposed to work with different kind of physical things. Such things can be present in the remote areas where we have slow or even no internet connection. Unavailability of the internet means the device would no longer work. The slow connection will hamper the functioning of the device. Data storage and processing is an important aspect for any technology. If we process data within the device or nearest to the device, we can use other methods of data transport like Bluetooth. Edge computing proves to be a viable alternative to cloud in such a restricted environment.

Costs:

In Edge computing, we can save bandwidth usage and data transfer costs. Processing the data closest to the source of data also enables us to take backups and restore the data in a more efficient manner as compared to cloud computing.

Resiliency:

When we use Edge computing, we can easily make our complete system to be more resilient. In cloud infrastructures, one default can halt the entire system and connected IoT devices. Thanks to the Edge computing, failure of one device does not affect other devices.

These were some of the proven benefits that companies can enjoy by using Edge computing for the IoT. IoT is evolving at a rapid pace and it does not seem distant when IoT will become an important phenomenon in our day to day activities. Edge computing with its associated benefits will be a trusted companion of IoT.

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