The Evolution of IIoT Platforms From Edge to Cloud
Industrial Internet of things (IIoT)
Vishnu Narayan June 21, 2024

The Evolution of IIoT Platforms From Edge to Cloud

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing industries by connecting machines, systems, and people. Moreover, It provides real-time data and insights, increasing efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

Key to IIoT’s success is the development of its platforms, which have progressed from edge computing to cloud-based solutions, each with its own benefits and challenges.

This article will explore the evolution of IIoT platforms, looking at the shift from edge to cloud computing-based solutions, and will discuss the benefits and challenges of each in detail. Let’s dive in.

What is edge computing?

In simple terms, Edge computing brings processing and storage closer to where data is generated, reducing delays, saving bandwidth, boosting reliability, and making data more secure. It’s perfect for real-time tasks like IoT, self-driving cars, and industry automation.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing, a model for delivering computing services over the internet, offers a world of convenience and flexibility. It provides computing services, including storage, processing, and software, without the need to manage physical infrastructure.

This ease and adaptability make cloud computing a game-changer in the IIoT arena, empowering businesses to focus on their core competencies without the burden of infrastructure management. 

Cloud computing services are mainly split into three types. Let’s take a look:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): In IaaS, users can rent virtualized hardware, such as servers and storage. You manage software, and they handle hardware. Examples: AWS, Azure, GCP.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): In PaaS, users can access a platform to build apps without worrying about infrastructure. Moreover, it offers development tools and services. Examples: The Azure App Service, Google App Engine, and Heroku.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service): In SaaS, users can easily access useful software all over the internet without needing local installation or maintenance. Examples: Google Workspace, Salesforce, Dropbox.

Early Days: Localized Edge Computing

Initially, IIoT focused on localized edge computing, where sensors and controllers processed data locally. This approach offered several benefits:

  • Low Latency: Real-time decision-making by processing data at the source.
  • Reduced Bandwidth: Less data transmission to central servers, saving bandwidth and costs.
  • Enhanced Security: Keeping data within the local network reduces exposure risks.

However, edge computing had limitations, such as insufficient processing power and storage for complex analytics and the challenge of managing and updating many devices.

Also Read: Edge Computing & IoT: The Perfect Blend for Business Success

The Rise of Cloud Computing

The Rise of Cloud Computing

As IIoT applications grew, cloud computing emerged to address edge computing’s limitations. Data from edge devices is sent to powerful cloud servers for storage and processing, offering:

  • Scalability: Virtually unlimited storage and processing power.
  • Advanced Analytics: Capabilities for deeper insights using machine learning and AI.
  • Centralized Management: Simplifies updates and maintenance of devices and data.

However, cloud computing introduced issues like high bandwidth costs, latency, and data security concerns when transmitting sensitive data over the internet. Moreover, integrating edge and cloud within the IoT ecosystem helps to mitigate these issues, providing a balanced approach to data processing and storage.

Also Read: IoT Ecosystem – What is it & What are Its Key Elements

Edge computing vs. Cloud computing

In the context of the IIoT, edge computing and cloud computing represent two distinct paradigms for processing and managing data. While edge computing focuses on local processing near the data source, cloud computing centralizes data processing in remote data centers. Both approaches have their own advantages and are often used together to optimize IIoT systems.

The Convergence: what is an edge to the cloud?

Edge-to-cloud solutions combine the strengths of edge and cloud computing for a balanced and efficient IIoT system. Edge devices process data in real-time locally, reducing latency and bandwidth costs, while the cloud handles long-term storage and complex analytics. This approach enhances security by keeping sensitive data local and offers flexibility and scalability by allowing companies to adjust cloud resources as needed.

Edge-to-cloud solutions combine quick local processing with powerful centralized computing. At the edge, devices handle immediate tasks such as monitoring and control, while the cloud manages heavy-duty analysis and storage. This setup speeds up responses, saves resources, and boosts reliability, making it ideal for Industrial IoT systems where fast, secure, and efficient data management is crucial.

What are the benefits of edge to cloud technology?

The edge-to-cloud approach offers several benefits to organizations:

  • Greater Agility: Edge-to-cloud platforms enable quick responses to business needs and market opportunities, speeding up product launches.
  • Modernized Applications: Even critical tasks can run efficiently on today’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) platforms, saving both costs and time.
  • Simplified Hybrid Cloud: Combining on-site and cloud systems is made easy without added complexity for users.
  • Confident Hybrid Cloud Strategies: Organizations can easily adjust their mix of on-premises and cloud assets to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Optimized Data Use: Large or critical data sets can stay fast and available with edge-to-cloud, making it easier to extract insights through analytics and AI.

The modern edge to a cloud environment: why is an edge to cloud necessary?

The edge-to-cloud setup is crucial for a few reasons:

  • Agility: Edge-to-Cloud enables quick processing and decision-making.
  • Modernization: Edge-to-Cloud updates critical apps using modern tech.
  • Hybrid Cloud Simplification: Edge-to-Cloud makes using both on-premises and cloud resources easy.
  • Confident Strategy Development: Edge-to-Cloud helps plan hybrid cloud strategies.
  • Data Transformation: Edge-to-Cloud ensures data is available quickly and aids in analytics.

What is an edge to cloud platform and edge-cloud architecture?

An edge-to-cloud platform combines edge computing and cloud computing to manage data effectively. It processes data close to its source (at the edge) for quick analysis and action while using the cloud for storage, advanced analytics, and complex tasks. This setup balances the workload between local edge devices and centralized cloud servers for efficient application performance.

On the other hand, edge-cloud architecture deploys edge devices near data sources for quick processing, while cloud servers handle heavy tasks and storage. This design ensures smooth data flow, low latency, security, and scalability.

How does an edge to cloud platform work?

An edge-to-cloud platform first collects data from sensors and devices at the network’s edge. This data undergoes initial processing and analysis locally, allowing for quick decision-making and action.

Relevant information is then sent to the cloud for further processing and storage. Advanced analytics are performed in the cloud, and the data is securely stored for future use.

Insights generated from cloud analysis inform strategic decisions and optimize processes. This seamless coordination between edge and cloud enables efficient data processing, reduced latency, enhanced security, and scalability to meet diverse application needs.

What is the future of edge to cloud, and why is it crucial?

An edge-to-cloud approach is important because it combines the best of both worlds: quick data processing at the edge and extensive storage and analytics in the cloud. It ensures that applications run smoothly, with low delays and strong security.

Looking ahead, Edge-to-Cloud solutions will become even more vital as we rely more on real-time data and fast decisions. We can expect these solutions to keep improving, making data processing faster, security tighter, and connections between devices and the cloud smoother.

Plus, advancements in AI will help extract valuable insights from data streams, driving innovation across industries. That’s why modern businesses and industries need a comprehensive IIoT solution. ThinkPalm has developed a solution called NetvirE, which is an advanced cloud-native IIoT platform with remote asset monitoring and management capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between edge and cloud IoT?

Edge IoT processes data locally on devices, while cloud IoT processes data on remote servers.

What is edge computing in IIoT?

Edge computing in IIoT refers to processing data closer to the data source, improving real-time analytics, and reducing latency.

What are IIoT platforms?

IIoT platforms are software solutions that facilitate connectivity, data collection, and analysis in industrial IoT environments.

What is the difference between an edge platform and a cloud platform?

Edge platforms process data locally, while cloud platforms process data on remote servers.

What do you mean by an edge to cloud?

Edge-to-cloud refers to integrating edge computing with cloud services for a hybrid IoT solution.

What is the major difference between an IoT device and an IoT edge device?

Cloud computing provides the scalability, storage, and analytics capabilities necessary to handle the large volumes of data generated by IIoT devices.

What is the need for cloud computing for IIoT?

Cloud computing provides the scalability, storage, and analytics capabilities necessary to handle the large volumes of data generated by IIoT devices.

What is an edge gateway in IoT?

An edge gateway in IoT is a device that connects IoT devices to the cloud, performing data aggregation, preprocessing, and security functions at the edge.

Why Should You Choose an Industrial IoT Platform Like NetvirE?

NetvirE is an Industrial IoT (IIoT) platform from ThinkPalm. It enables developers to quickly create and deploy customized IIoT solutions with an edge-cloud architecture specifically designed for Industry 4.0.

Moreover, NetvirE is versatile and can be used in various industries, including energy, oil/gas, mining, telecommunications, maritime, logistics, and many more.

It offers features like remote asset monitoring, remote asset management, asset location tracking, activity detection, predictive maintenance, and many other capabilities. Connect with our team of experts today and discover how NetvirE can make your business more successful.Is Your Business Ready to Embrace The Next-Generation Industrial IoT Platform?

Author Bio

Vishnu Narayan is a dedicated content writer and a skilled copywriter working at ThinkPalm Technologies. More than a passionate writer, he is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader who seamlessly blends creativity with technical expertise. A wanderer at heart, he tries to roam the world with a heart that longs to watch more sunsets than Netflix!