For businesses, the most important benefit of the IoT will be the data generated by billions of new smart sensors and devices. The “Internet of Everything” — all of the people and things connected to the internet — will generate 507.5 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes) of data by 2019, according to Cisco. Managing, sifting through, and analyzing so much data will be a massive challenge for organizations. But that data analysis will be essential if IoT initiatives are going to provide the insights to drive greater productivity and revenues.Right now, most of this data management and analysis is performed in the cloud or enterprise data centers. However, several IoT technology providers are promoting a different model called edge computing, or “fog computing,” for the IoT. In an edge computing model, sensors and connected devices transmit data to a nearby edge computing device, such as a gateway device (a networking device like a switch or router) that processes or analyzes the data, instead of sending it back to the cloud or a remote data center. A report from BI Intelligence looks at the market for edge computing solutions tied to the IoT and explains the specific benefits and challenges around using edge computing for enterprise IoT data storage and processing. It also examines which industries we expect to lead in adopting edge computing and how the technology could increase productivity and efficiency in these particular sectors.
If you had predicted in 2006 that this crazy new thing called Amazon Web Services would upend the $3 trillion enterprise computing industry and cause companies like IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft to shake in their boots, you would have been laughed out of town.Even as late as 2010, two years after Netflix decided to go all in on AWS and not build its own data centers, the enterprise world was debating if cloud computing would ever be safe and reliable enough to use.Today, AWS is on its way to being a $13 billion business. Oracle looked across the bow, saw a giant threat, and is building its own cloud as fast as it can. Microsoft revamped its entire company and chose its third CEO to go after the cloud. And Google, the internet search giant, has become an enterprise cloud provider, by many accounts the No. 3 in the market.Along the way, startups like Airbnb, Spotify, Slack, and Snap have grown into big, valuable companies, and new multimillion cloud-serving markets like hyperconverged storage, software-defined networking, and containers have been born, too.And it seems to many pundits that now that cloud computing is here, we’ve arrived at the end, and the cloud as we know it will be the way of the future for years, maybe decades, to come.But tech doesn’t work like that.While cloud computing isn’t going away, the first signs that it’s becoming “yesterday’s” technology are here, says venture capitalist Peter Levine, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz.The next thing is called “edge computing,” Levine tells us.