Edge Architecture for IIoT

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Edge Architecture for IIoT

If you’re an industrial manufacturer or OEM wishing to adopt IIoT as part of your overall digital strategy, you’ll find that edge computing is often a required component. Even though edge computing is used pervasively throughout IIoT, its exact purpose and place in the technology stack is not always clear.

Edge Computing & IIoT

This lack of clarification comes from the fact that edge computing doesn’t exist at a single spot in your architecture. Edge computing, which starts at the physical device and ends just before the cloud, represents a hierarchy of potential computing layers. Each layer filters, processes, and derives insights as data flows from the bottom of the hierarchy to the top.

Regardless of the number of layers in your hierarchy, they generally fall within three primary categories:

  • Embedded Edge: Device, sensor, or peripheral that is typically the source of raw data.
  • Gateway Edge: Collector and aggregator of data from multiple peripherals or other gateways.
  • Network Edge: Bridge between the local network and the external internet.

The primary purpose of an edge computing hierarchy is to exchange data fidelity for actionable insights. For example, an accelerometer will provide extremely high-frequency data, but that data is useless until it’s processed as vibration, down-sampled, and ultimately fed to alerting systems much higher in the hierarchy.

The lowest layers in your hierarchy are often generating enormous amounts of raw data that are impossible or impractical to store in a data warehouse or send to the cloud. Each layer in your edge computing hierarchy will incrementally reduce data volume while simultaneously producing insights that are worth propagating to the next layer.

Read the full post from Losant to learn more about the edge computing hierarchy and how it relates to IIoT, and about their complete IoT application enablement platform that combines edge and cloud designed to quickly realize your IoT vision.

More about IIC: Industrial IoT Reference Architecture

About the Author

Brandon Cannaday, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer
Brandon has 15 years of software engineering experience in chemical detection, telecommunications, cloud services, and The Internet of Things. As CPO of Losant, Brandon works directly with enterprise customers to help bring to life their own IoT products on top of Losant’s platform.