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Episode 5: Living On The Edge

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Episode 5: Living On The Edge
Series: Making Sense of Sensor Data


Phil Ressler: It’s not always obvious to people why Edge computing would be important to our system.

Elizabeth Shonnard: In a traditional cloud platform, you’re kind of sending all of the data up and the amount of it is very large. So one of the ways that we can address that is being able to use the compute power of the devices themselves. Decide how much data has to be sent up to the cloud vs. what we can keep on a device.

Phil Ressler: Edge computing has three primary advantages.

Number one, we get the ability to improve our scalability and maintain our scalability under escalating data load by allocating some of the compute resources to computational resources that are on the edge device.

The second thing we get is performance increases. We can reduce the network traffic – the travel of data back and forth – so that we can maintain real time response and constantly attack latency.

We can get a result to a person or a device while it is still relevant to get that result to them.

The third thing we get with Edge computing is better security resources.

One of the primary problems with sensor data is that it’s intrinsically insecure.

We’ve seen hacker attacks, for instance, that have used as entry point relatively innocent sensor-oriented and devices that are connected to the web. The aggregation points of the gateways have compute resources on them that allow us to put an agent on there and we take advantage of Edge computing in order to progressively harden the system.

Shawn Gunn: In some cases, it’s important to integrate SDKs directly on devices but many more in the future will take on the capability of the services integrated directly in a cloud gateway environment.

The service that we’re providing not only aggregates data but we do the cleansing and normalization of it for them. We feed a lot of their decision making capabilities, we feed their analytics platforms and so having this rich granular data set that’s sitting right near their cloud environment is becoming more important to their daily business use.