Edge and Fog

TECHNOLOGY • BUSINESS 09.25.18

Edge, Fog facilitate Cloud-to-Thing Continuum.

THE CLOUD IS not going away. It's working with the Edge along the "cloud-to-thing continuum of services," according to Open Fog Consortium. The advancing IoT explosion is estimated to generate an average 1.5GB per person, per day by 2020. The cloud won't be "sufficient to instantaneously process and analyze the troves of data generated," reports CB Insights. Enter Edge computing. It takes on some of the cloud's work by processing and storing data  close to the device generating it.  The global Edge computing market is estimated to reach $6.72 billion by 2022.

FOG WORLD CONGRESS 2018"the largest gathering of edge influencers"takes place Oct. 1-3 in San Francisco. Edge and Fog computing are "promising solutions for handling the large volume of security-critical and time-sensitive data that is being produced by the IoT,"  finds a Survey of Fog and Edge Computer Paradigms, Cornell University.

EDGE IS A "crucial computing paradigm in the current landscape of IoT devices." It works at the edge of the network," through "small data centers that are close to users,"and "integrates IoT devices with the cloud intelligently via cloud services deployed close to the devices," the Surveydetails.

IDC CALLS IT a "mesh of micro data centers that process or store critical data locally and push all received data to a central data center or cloud storage repository, in a footprint of less than 100 square feet," CB Insights.

EDGE IS FACILITATED by Fog computing, "a system-level horizontal architecture that distributes resources and services to the "edge of an enterprise's network," says the Cutter Business Technology Journal, to the "things that produce and act" on data, details a Cisco White Paper.

Benefits of Edge Computing, source: CB Insights

Use cases for smart cars, manufacturing and voice assistance, commercial real estate poised to define new revenue sources.

EDGE IS STILL YOUNG, but major players are in the space, GoogleAmazon and Microsoft, among them, "potentially giving rise to the next big computing race," says CB Insights.

BEYOND CONNECTING OUR phones and devices, IoT and Edge cross a "variety of industries." Some of the "most popular use cases" are autonomous vehicles, manufacturing and voice assistance, says BMC.

IoT is "already having a significant impact" on the commercial real estate industry. Deloitte

EDGE SOLUTIONS CAN be deployed for cellular systems and Wi-Fi networks that host content locally in buildings. Property owners can offer "enhanced in-building experiences" for tenants. "Networks are no longer exclusively the domain of the large telecom operators."  Third parties can "build and manage" networks with property owners, and "lease capacity back to the telco," according to a Crosslayer White Paper.

PROPERTY OWNERS CAN create  value through enhanced building efficiency, differentiation, and insights from data sets collected about the building, tenants, and environment, finds Deloitte.

Crosslayer White Paper

Massive amounts of data around "building operations and the environment" give property owners a "differentiator" and "new revenue sources." Deloitte

THE RESULT IS a marketing opportunity for "positioning the building as technology-forward development that can positively impact new tenant sales and limit tenant churn,"Crosslayer White Paper.  New revenue opportunities can be developed for "analytics-as-a-service," providing insights to tenants, stakeholders, urban planners, and investors, says Deloitte.

"Over time, there is potential for the information generated by IoT-enabled buildings to be as valuable as the location of the physical asset." Deloitte

Challenges to be worked out in security, privacy, integration, talent pool.

There are challenges to be worked out to achieve "complete integration." Companies need to "look closely into their talent pool"  to address the "demand for new skills in areas like function as a service" (FaaS) and the "new fundamentals of networking such as mesh networks and software defined networking," (SDN) reports Forbes.

Cybersecurity  and data privacy concerns will be significant because IoT devices are "more vulnerable" to  malicious cyber attacks and physical tampering, according to a study by Jianli Pan and Zhicheng Yang, Cybersecurity Challenges and Opportunities in the New "Edge Computing + IoT" World.

Elaine Sarduy is a freelance writer and content developer @Listing Debuts