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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Local Edge Computing and The Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is the next evolutionary stage of the Internet of Things (IoT). It's a concept that sees all manner of previously unconnected objects and processes being converged with the ones that are already online.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, this convergence of physical and digital domains is set to potentially disrupt individual organizations and entire industries.

The IoE is being enabled by advancements with standardized, ultra-low-power wireless technologies -- such as Bluetooth and ZigBee -- which are enabling sensor and node implementations. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity serve as a backbone for transferring the collected data to the Cloud.

ABI Research estimates that the volume of data captured by IoT-connected devices exceeded 200 exabytes in 2014. The annual total is forecast to grow seven-fold by the end of the decade, surpassing 1,600 exabytes -- or 1.6 zettabytes -- in 2020.

"The data originating from connected products and processes follows a certain journey of magnitudes. The yearly volumes that are generated within endpoints are counted in yottabytes, but only a tiny fraction of this vast data mass is actually being captured for storage or further analysis," said Aapo Markkanen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

And of the captured data volume, ABI believes that on average over 90 percent is stored or processed locally without a cloud element, even though this ratio can vary greatly by application segment. So far, the locally dealt data has typically been largely inaccessible for analytics, but that is now starting to change.

In terms of deployment architectures, the IoT is currently undergoing a major paradigm shift from cloud computing toward edge computing. On one hand, this shift is opening up edge-based data to meaningful analysis, by distributing the analytic workloads across the network.

On the other hand, it is also shoring up the cloud-level capabilities by making the transmitted data more actionable, by enriching and contextualizing the payloads.

ABI says that localized edge computing is a huge challenge for the entire IoT value-chain, as we can see from the way that cloud platforms, analytics vendors, and gateway suppliers are all working to collaborate with each other. These evolving open ecosystems will create the foundation for future market development.