Edge computing, driven by the rapid proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technology, is poised to change the world as we know it. According to the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IoT 2018 Predictions, by 2020, IT spend on Edge infrastructure will near 18 percent of the total spend on IoT infrastructure, largely as a result of converged IT/OT systems that lower the time-to-value of data collected from connected devices.
Frankly, IoT is everywhere - from smart buildings, automated traffic management, fitness trackers, and connected fridges, just to name a few of its increasingly ubiquitous applications. The growth of IoT has spurred a push toward edge computing, which allows large volumes of data that are generated by these connected devices to be processed more quickly at the edge of the network, rather than at a remote data center. Foundational to the success of IoT is the cloud, whose speed, agility and scalability reduce the latency of edge computing.
Edge computing is also poised to play a key role in enabling the full potential of 5G. Both 5G and IoT will place greater and greater demands on the network’s ability to support increased data loads and unpredictable traffic patterns. Reduced latency and increased compute efficiency will be required, which has put pressure on service providers to move network infrastructure to the edge. In this brave new world, operators need assurance that their connectivity will remain ubiquitous, consistent and most importantly - reliable. Achieving this will necessitate complete visibility across the entire IoT lifecycle.
While the tremendous amounts of data generated by virtual solutions will provide operators with deep intelligence that in turn will enable them to gain meaningful insights and inform their network policy and traffic management systems, the unstructured nature of this data will require it to be normalized and correlated in the context of service delivery, operations and business performance in order to be of any real value. To maintain visibility throughout every aspect of the IoT lifecycle, operators will need to utilize a smart data solution.
A growing reliance on edge computing makes access to real-time, scalable metadata that is imbued with user experience derived from network traffic an indispensable resource. Leveraging smart data, operators will be able to gain valuable insights into how IoT devices and machines on their network behave, how they interact with the network and the type of traffic patterns they produce. These insights will allow for better-informed decisions about where to allocate capacity, how to boost performance and how to identify anomalies within the network.
Smart data solutions are the absolute key to allowing operators to monitor the entirety of the IoT environment, and be certain performance is assured, and every device is connected.
This blog is based on the article, Smart data – giving operators the edge written by John English, Senior Product Manager, Service Providers for NETSCOUT, which was published on Radio-Electronics.com.