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We live in an increasingly connected world. Never in human history has information been so readily available. Today, not only are people more connected to each other, but people are connected to the devices that connect them to processes and the devices that connect them to other people, processes, and devices. This is a truly connected world – for which we have a lot of information to thank.
The Internet of Things (IoT) plays an important role in connectivity, and today we are looking at the role of cloud-agnostic hardware in IoT. We’ll discuss the key questions the IoT industry is asking today. This includes the benefits of cloud-agnostic hardware, how cloud-agnostic hardware affects the future of IoT, and whether there are alternatives to cloud-agnostic hardware.
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What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects embedded with sensors and other connectivity technologies that connect and exchange data with other systems and devices over the Internet.
When you’re checking your smartphone for an up-to-date report on sleep patterns, heart rate, and calories burned from your most recent workout, have you ever wondered how all this information is collected? Small but powerful sensors and software reside in your wearable. These are designed to manage all your fitness information, analyze it, and send it to you as a report on your smartphone.
In an increasingly connected world, connected devices are tools for accessing and sharing critical information related to home, health, finance, and even news. Smart appliances and wearables are widely used as a single technology to help with everyday tasks. Experts predict that the use of connected devices as part of the connected device ecosystem is on the rise.
Related: The Internet of Things: New Threats Emerge in a Connected World
From healthcare to power and energy to manufacturing, every industry is turning to IoT to improve operational efficiency and productivity, and create new business opportunities. IoT hardware used across industries includes accelerometers, temperature, imaging, light, acoustic, and pressure sensors.
Various industries are increasingly realizing the importance of effectively using data and integrating disparate systems for more visibility and better insights.
Does IoT need cloud?
Technically speaking, IoT does not require cloud. Many forms of data processing and commands can be performed locally with a simple internet connection.
Cloud-agnostic hardware – Sensors and devices communicate with the cloud through connectivity (satellite, cellular, Wi-Fi, LPWAN, or even Bluetooth). The data collected in the cloud is processed by software that decides what action needs to be taken. For example, does the data have to be sent as an alert, or in some cases used to adjust sensors/devices without human intervention.
Related: How Entrepreneurs Are Connecting the World Through IoT
The benefits of cloud-agnostic hardware in today’s IoT
The industry uses a large number of sensors to collect and process data, and then make intelligent decisions based on this data. The cloud is critical when it contains large amounts of important data.
For example, at NCD, we created an IoT SDI soil moisture temperature EC transmitter that uses a wireless mesh network architecture with SDI soil probes. Probes sample soil moisture, temperature, EC levels at multiple locations and send wireless transmissions to remote modems and gateways. Agricultural companies use this technology to compare soil moisture data received by sensors from different locations after planting the same seed. Without the cloud, comparing data across multiple domains would be difficult.
When using thousands of sensors without the cloud, each sensor must have excellent computing power, which is expensive and energy-intensive. With cloud solutions, data can be seamlessly passed from sensors to the cloud where all aggregated data is processed, analyzed and processed.
Over the years, we’ve seen the cloud-agnostic hardware advantages that enterprises gain across industries. These include:
- Reduce upfront and infrastructure costs
- Pay-as-you-go storage and computing
- Very high system scalability
- ready to use
- Reduces load on battery-operated devices and sensors, thereby extending their lifespan
- The ability to efficiently collect massive amounts of data.
A cloud-agnostic sensor is a device that can send data to any cloud service, and the user can choose the best cloud option, or if they don’t want to use the cloud, they can still use their sensor. They have complete control over their data and how it is presented.
shared symbiotic relationship
Although IoT does not always rely on cloud computing, there is an undeniable symbiotic relationship between the two.Over 10 billion active IoT devices will cover 25.4 billion The next eight years (to 2030). At the same time, cloud computing has also experienced a sharp rise, with more than 94% of enterprises relying on cloud services.Total data from IoT devices alone is expected to reach 73.1 zettabytes over the next three years (by 2025). IoT applications can rely entirely on the cloud to provide the enormous capacity needed to host and process large amounts of data.
As IoT deployments continue to reach new heights, there is no doubt that developers will face data hosting and processing challenges. At NCD, we’ve been busy understanding future IoT trends and potential issues across industries, here are some of them.
- Organizations will face challenges associated with setting up their IT infrastructure.
- As IoT deployments continue to reach new heights, mission-critical scenarios such as remote patient monitoring, environmental monitoring, connected cars, autonomous vehicles, telemedicine, and robotics will require increasing speed.
- Latency and performance, scalability, cost and security issues will be concerns across industries.
- IoT deployments will become increasingly complex as IoT becomes more pervasive. More comprehensive sensors, configurations, networking technologies, software platforms and protocols will all be a developer nightmare.
- As IoT databases grow exponentially, so will the need for scalability. However, the costs associated with scalability (operational costs and costs associated with managing multiple locations) will be substantial.
All these problems have a solution: cloud computing and agnostic hardware. Developers will turn to various cloud architectures—hybrid, public, private, and even multi-cloud—to solve at least most of their problems. For everything else, edge computing will come in handy.
Related: 8 Ways IoT Devices Can Improve Your Business Office
The edge and where it fits into the scheme of things
More and more new devices are connecting to the Internet every second. By 2025, 152,200 new devices will be connected Internet access every minute. This could cause huge performance and latency issues for time-sensitive data in the future.
Not all data is time-sensitive, but activity data (for example, real-time blood sugar levels or indicators of heart health) cannot tolerate lags. It must be delivered immediately via medical equipment or sensor-enabled alarm systems. This is where edge data centers can save. To ensure near real-time delivery of critical information, IoT developers must consider moving to edge computing architectures that use edge data centers closer to edge devices, resulting in improved performance.
Processing data directly on the edge device is an option. Still, these devices typically have minimal computing resources and are unable to handle workloads such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and video analytics.
back to the cloud
Again we turn to the cloud for solutions to our future problems. Like every cloud has a silver lining, cloud predictions help us believe that cloud-agnostic hardware will undoubtedly be the key to the future of IoT. Based on our experience at NCD, we would like to see:
- Multi-cloud usage has exploded in the IoT industry.
- The cloud environment will provide higher security to eliminate security risks.
- Cloud computing will be used together with edge computing to take on the massive data load that edge computing cannot handle.
- The growing demand for cloud data storage will ensure greater storage capacity for IoT devices without sacrificing speed.
- AI will continue to grow as the backbone to support cloud computing (data management and data insights).
Whichever way you look at it, you can’t deny the urgency of the cloud in IoT and the need for cloud-agnostic hardware. Whether used in silos or with edge devices, business and industry-specific IoT devices will rely on the cloud to support large IoT ecosystems. Cloud-agnostic hardware is the way forward – it’s the only way to keep up with the rapidly evolving IoT industry.
Related: 3 Ways IoT is Shaping the Smart Cities of the Future