Think of the business value that can be gained by using sensors to gather real-time data from manufacturing equipment, wind turbines, oil rigs, tractor-trailers, trains, and various other assets in the field. Location, temperature, pressure, fuel levels, images and other information can be used to automatically track, manage and maintain assets, maximize productivity, improve safety, and minimize unplanned downtime.
This helps to explain why nearly six in 10 enterprises will launch Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives by this time next year, according to a 2016 survey from Enterprise Strategy Group. The top reasons for IoT adoption are operational efficiency (45 percent), customer service improvements (39 percent), the creation of new products and services (38 percent), and the development of new business models (26 percent).
However, managing large volumes of data generated by IoT devices, and then analyzing that data in real time to uncover insights that deliver true business value, is no small undertaking. With the IoT and big data analytics, simply collecting data from an endpoint and sending all of it directly to a data center for processing is inefficient. Depending on the application, data could take a more complex path, change in form, and lead to the creation of new data. In this case, processing must take place before data is sent to the data center.
IoT technology and computing needs to move to the edge of the network. This makes it possible to process data closer to the source before transmitting it to the data center. When data must be collected and analyzed in seconds or less, compute power at the edge is critical to reducing latency. For example, if IoT technology is being used to monitor equipment at a power plant, data needs to be processed almost instantly to ensure safe, optimal operation. Edge computing can also overcome bandwidth challenges by filtering data near the source and thereby reducing the amount of data that is sent to the data center.
An IoT gateway is a device that aids in the management and control of complex IoT systems, which are often geographically dispersed and include thousands of sensors using multiple connection protocols and models. An IoT gateway is capable of managing devices and their connectivity, aggregating data, translating between protocols, and filtering and processing data. Newer IoT gateways have the intelligence to perform more in-depth processing and analysis at the edge rather than requiring a trip to the data center.
Dell recently introduced the Dell Edge Gateway 3000 Series of products, which allow for secure processing and analytics at the network edge, even in extreme environments and the smallest of spaces. Three models have been developed for specific use cases in the industrial automation, energy, transportation, digital signage and related markets to optimize performance and reliability. The new Edge Gateway 3000 Series offers the connectivity, flexibility and real-time intelligence to help organizations use their data to make smarter, faster business decisions.
To take full advantage of the IoT from both an operational and strategic business perspective, computing must move to the edge. Let us show you how the Dell Edge Gateway 300 Series of products can help you control and optimize your IoT environment.
by Michael Renner