Skip to main content

What is an IoT Edge Device?

An edge device is a device that is used to control data flow at the edge of two networks and information processing. Edge devices typically serve as entry or exit points to enterprise networks. They are used for transmitting, routing, processing, monitoring, filtering, translating and storing data. Edge devices are designed to be highly energy efficient even as they possess a significant amount of processing power. Edge computing combined with cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT) is driving the transformation of Industry 4.0. Edge networks work on a decentralized architecture and enable data processing at or very near the site of data generation. Some edge devices are capable of processing all information on the device itself. Edge computing enables low latency and high availability – a rising need for real-time processing of data in emerging business use cases.

IoT-Edge-Devices

Edge and IoT: How it works

The Industrial Internet of Things is witnessing a convergence of Operational and Information technologies. Edge devices typically act as a channel of communication between networks where it translates one protocol into another and connects securely to the cloud. Edge computing is particularly relevant for sprawling Industrial Internet of Things architectures that need extensive automated remote monitoring and insight-driven intelligence for efficient functioning. The low latency nature of edge computing enables automated split-second decision-making in latency-sensitive operational environments, such as smart factory floors. In this article, we will outline the primary criteria you should use in choosing a relevant industrial IoT gateway. For further guidelines, please consult IT Support Atlanta.

5 Criteria for choosing the Industrial IoT gateway

Security

Let’s be clear. Any device connected to the Internet is vulnerable. IoT devices are no exception in this regard. In fact, recent statistics indicate that an IoT device connected to the Internet can be attacked in a span of less than five minutes. The risks are much larger without IoT devices because they typically form part of a network with billions of other intelligent sensors and devices attached. A single point of infraction can be used to target all of them at once. This is why it’s critical to verify if your chosen industrial IoT gateway has the requisite security features to effectively protect your sensitive business data. It must have the requisite encryption standards and authentication processes, such as DES, AES, Triple DES, RSA, and Twofish Encryption Algorithm.

Flexible architectures

Investing in an industrial IoT gateway is an expensive endeavor and one you shouldn’t have to invest in more than once. This makes it necessary for you to look for an industrial IoT gateway that is easily integrated with all existing and prospective machines and equipment you are likely to make use of. The gateway must have a robust and secure architecture, and also have flexible hardware. If you’re looking for help in implementing an industrial IoT gateway, consider reaching out to Cloud Services New Jersey.

Compatibility

As mentioned before, a critical criteria in choosing a future-proof industrial IoT gateway lies in checking for compatibility with all existing and prospective equipment you want to use. Most companies continue to work on a mix of legacy and upgraded hardware with legacy equipment slowly being phased out. In order to significantly save on costs, your industrial IoT gateway must be compatible with all devices during such transitions – both legacy and new equipment.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is currently witnessing explosive growth with the global edge computing market projected to reach $15.7 billion by 2025. This makes it necessary for your industrial IoT gateway to have relevant edge computing applications. This can significantly benefit your operational efficiency with rapid and secure processing and storing sensor data, managing diagnostics and OTA, improving reliability and enabling a remarkable drop in latency.

Cheaper and more flexible hardware​

Your specific business use case is unique. Always inquire if your industrial IoT gateway comes bundled with off-the-shelf software applications or starter packages relevant for you. You should also check for the kind of hardware intelligence and customizations made available by the vendor.

Benefits of IoT edge devices

  • A factory floor is a dynamic environment that is always changing. For optimum performance and peak efficiencies, you need to enable remote, condition-based monitoring and intelligent automation of shop-floor machines – a critical feature offered by IoT device management.
  • With intelligence-based systems monitoring your entire manufacturing process, a lag of even milliseconds could cause a significant impact in data consistency. Latency-sensitive scenarios, such as equipment failures and hazardous incidents need real-time insight-based decision-making. Data analysis at the edge reduces the chances for latency and enables significantly improved response times. In contrast to the traffic-heavy cloud environments, edge computing can help cause a significant reduction in overall traffic loads, thereby enabling peak efficiencies from all your enterprise applications and services.
  • Edge computing enables real-time monitoring and analysis of data so organizations can leverage insight-driven decision-making. This also enables companies to detect anomalies rapidly to improve machine uptime and lower spare parts inventory.
  • Edge computing is particularly relevant for agile and real-time systems as it adds efficiency, self-monitoring and analysis. Potential use cases include traffic or logistics management, self-driving vehicles, security systems, remote monitoring of hazardous environment and operational facilities, smart grids, smart cities, and more. To understand the strategy of business value of deploying IT edge devices in your business, please consult IT Outsourcing New Jersey.
  • Cost Savings: Not all of your business data is created equal. However, the cost of transmitting, managing, and securing data remains standard. Edge computing allows you to address this disparity by categorizing your data from a management perspective. Since edge locations are capable of storing data, you can leverage these locations to store as much data as possible and significantly reduce the need for costly bandwidth to connect all enterprise locations. By leveraging the strengths of edge computing, you can optimize data flow in your enterprise and reduce redundant storage – thereby effectively reducing redundant costs.
Chris Forte

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.

Leave a Reply