Are You Ready to Move to the Edge?

Jun 06, 2018


IoT, the Cloud, and the Edge

Every year, more and more IoT (Internet of Things) devices are powering on and connecting to the Internet. A study from Gartner, Inc. projects that at least 21 billion devices will be connected by 2020. As refrigerators and baby monitors and parking garages join the fray, the need for reasonable edge solutions becomes increasingly more apparent. The increasing burden of data transmission, analysis and computation requests from IoT to the Internet and back is putting a greater and greater strain on the Cloud. And the more burden put on the Cloud and its servers to do your computing, the slower things could become as connected cloud computing, and data storage systems experience greater loads than ever. Clearly, solutions are needed, and one such solution is moving to the Edge.

What Is Edge Computing?

In the context of IoT, “Edge computing” refers to the computing that takes place close to the sources of data. Examples might include security sensors, remote surveillance camera setups, telecommunications relays and industrial machines such as wind turbines. Basically, Edge computing happens across the world of IoT via many devices which aggregate data from a variety of equipment and sensors. These devices typically reside away from the centralized computing available in the cloud.

Edge computing is pushing the computing applications, data, and services to the logical extremes of a network enabling analytics and data gathering to occur at the source of the data. Historically, edge computing was mostly used to gather data, store it temporarily, filter, and send that data to cloud systems for longer storage or further analysis. However, recent advances in computing architecture give edge devices far more computing, storage, and analytic power needed to act on the data at its source, increasing both speed and power at the Edge.

As more computing is moved to the Edge, unique advantages come to the forefront:

Reduced Latency

When data is being transferred any distance, there is always the possibility of data loss or corruption. When this happens, overall compute times are slowed. What Edge computing devices do is decrease this latency by shortening the distance that data must travel. This means that devices which absolutely depend on reliable processing—such as autonomous cars and surgery devices, will be able to take advantage of the assurance that Edge computing offers for no disconnect during real-time processing of information.

Robust Connections

Not only does Edge computing reduce latency and data processing loss, but it also decreases bottlenecks, such as those that might occur if the data needed to travel first to the core or cloud and back to undergo computation. Edge computing is more reliable than your average network. If you are a retailer, for example, you want your computing architecture to be able to process information as quickly as your customers want it. What’s more, chipsets designed for Edge computing are configured specifically for the faster networking connections promised by the advent of 5G.

Increased Security

Any data movement from one location to another has the possibility for a host of vulnerabilities. Edge computing ensures that any computations being done are not handled in the cloud, where your data is protected only as much as the cloud servers are. Instead, this computation is done in a protected environment that you can more easily monitor, allowing far better security. Edge computing solutions are designed to reduce the overall threat landscape by reducing the attack vectors and minimizing the data that needs to be sent beyond the protected firewall of an edge network.

Dell Edge Gateways for IoT

As a Dell EMC OEM Titanium partner, we offer a variety of purpose-built Dell Edge Gateways designed to connect legacy and modern equipment with the cloud. These devices bridge the gap between IT and OT by aggregating, qualifying and relaying data at the edge from a variety of sources and protocols. With leading-edge security features, these devices provide a customizable and interoperable environment to architect an IoT ecosystem that meets your needs while maximizing the value of existing equipment. This family of products includes the Edge Gateway 3000 for manufacturing lines and commercial use; the Edge Gateway 5000 for more secure, cost-effective IoT networks; and the Edge Gateway 5100 industrial IoT device. Learn more about Dell Edge Gateways for IoT.

Edge Communications, Security and IoT Solutions from UNICOM Engineering

In addition, UNICOM Engineering has developed reference platforms to fill a key space in the market for low-power, smaller-footprint solutions. These Atom C3000 SoC based Edge servers feature low-power consumption, up to 16 cores, 4X 10GbE connectivity, integrated Intel QuickAssist technology (QAT), and multiple high speed I/O options to deliver dynamically scaling performance at the edge. They are ideal for communications, security and IoT applications. Additionally, the upcoming R-Series rugged edge servers with IP65 enclosures are perfectly suited for edge servers deployed in challenging environments. Check out our Leveraging Next-Gen Technology to Build Edge Communications, Security and IoT Solutions white paper to learn more.

How UNICOM Engineering Can Partner with You to Move to the Edge

UNICOM Engineering has years of experience with designing purpose-built server appliances for a variety of computing environments. Transitioning to new technology can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. As a Dell EMC OEM Titanium Partner and a member of the Intel IoT Solution Alliance, UNICOM Engineering worked diligently to prepare for the transition to next-gen embedded platforms and is currently helping other organizations like yours get there faster. Are you ready to learn more? Contact UNICOM Engineering at or via phone at 800-977-1010 or 972-633-3400 to get started today.

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Category: Edge Computing