Following the money in IoT: Distribute the cloud to the edge
Over the last decade, businesses have been centralizing their IT infrastructure in the cloud. Now, the Internet of Things (IoT) is shedding light on some limitations of this approach – lack of storage, high latency, static environment, etc. – resulting in a shift from the centralized model to distributed model and to the edge for optimal user experience and cost performance.
In the IoT space, it is essential to apply Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence and analyze an aggregated set of many cross functional and/or domain parameters over time, either from an individual or larger group of sensors, and visualize the results or use them for real-time actuation. For many use cases, sending data to a centrally located datacenter for processing will be too slow and simply cost too much.
The benefits of edge computing/Distributed Cloud for IoT
Edge computing/Distributed Cloud offers a much more fluid, real-time environment. It moves applications, data and services away from the central cloud to the edge, where IoT devices are attached.
Edge computing/Distributed Cloud supports numerous IoT use cases in industries such as automotive and even retail, to name a few. For example, edge computing helps autonomous cars, which are effectively mobile datacenters with a variety of sensors, process data on the spot. If you have four different autonomous vehicles come to a four-way stop, you don’t want to send data to the cloud and have the cloud decide which car will make the first move. The decision needs to be made in real-time, at the edge.
Retail stores can use the edge to combine data from a customer’s loyalty app with live data being collected in the store through sensors built into smart shelving. This allows them to update offers and promotions for each instore customer in real-time through the loyalty app, rather than having to send data all the way back to the cloud to analyze.
Edge computing/Distributed Cloud enables innovation in IoT
The shift to edge computing/Distributed Cloud offers opportunities for innovation in IoT, and technology companies are taking notice. For example, Ericsson’s Unified Delivery Network and Mode, a San Francisco-based startup that has built a remarkable private network cloud service for businesses, have partnered to deliver a new edge-compute global enterprise network, while others like Edgeworx are enabling the rapid creation of new applications on the edge.
A key piece of our growth strategy is investing in emerging technologies that complement our strengths, such as edge computing/Distributed Cloud, through Ericsson Ventures.
During the recent IoT World tradeshow in Silicon Valley, we hosted our first ever “Follow the money in IoT” networking event. The standing-room-only event – attended by telecom service providers, ecosystem partners and startups – highlighted our IoT initiatives with talks from invested startups. Daisho, an edge cloud and analytics specialist, gave a glimpse of trends fueling and hyperscaling at the edge, including the explosive growth of critical IoT devices like autonomous vehicles, and explained how its solution is helping communications service providers tackle these challenges.
Are you trying to “follow the money” in IoT? No matter which stage your start-up is in, Ericsson can make a difference. Whether you are finding your first customer, building and evolving your technology, or scaling your idea globally – we want to work with you.