The cloud is a popular destination for Internet of Things storage, but it doesn’t work in all cases. What’s the best way to develop your edge IoT storage strategy?
Grandview Survey projects that the global edge computing market will grow at a CAGR of 38.4% between 2021 and 2028. Organizations are clearly jumping on the edge of the Internet of Things, but strategic IoT storage plans often lag behind adoption.
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What steps can enterprises take to bypass IoT storage and ensure that IoT storage is optimized for each use case?
Options for IoT data storage
Cloud IoT storage is an attractive option for many companies.
Cloud storage can easily scale to take in as much IoT data as you need, although storing unstructured data in an easily scalable cloud can quickly lead to budget overruns if you don’t manage it carefully. Sending IoT data to and from the cloud can also lead to budget overruns. IoT data from sensors and devices can be moved to and from the cloud over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, satellite and even low-power network services, but it’s up to IT to determine the most economical and most reliable way of IoT data transport.
The advantage of cloud IoT data storage, if your operations are geographically dispersed, is that major cloud providers have data centers around the world. This can help you control your data transmission and storage costs as cloud storage facilities are localized.
Major cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, AWS, IBM and others also have IoT storage and processing expertise in-house. These providers are able to manage all of your IoT from start to finish, if you need it.
Popular Use Cases: Cloud IoT storage is a popular choice for businesses with distributed geographic operations and IoT data. Use cases include a global logistics carrier or a company that needs to track millions of assets in every corner of the world. Cloud IoT storage also works great for medium to small organizations that need help with IoT cloud management for storage and processing.
Hybrid cloud device storage
Some cloud IoT storage providers offer methods that allow employees to temporarily store IoT data that they will eventually send to the cloud on their on-premises devices.
These chunks of locally stored IoT data can be videos, images, or any other type of unstructured data that a user needs to access locally and with minimal latency during retrieval. When the user is done using the data locally, the data can be sent to the cloud for more permanent storage.
Popular Use Cases: A doctor who needs to see a patient’s direct X-ray scan may choose to have that image on their smartphone device. This gives them easy cloud-free access to the image and eliminates the latency of cloud image retrieval. Similarly, surveyors and field technicians for telecommunications companies serving customers in remote areas can store images and diagrams locally on their devices. This ensures access to relevant documents in areas where internet service is unreliable.
IoT data can be stored locally on network servers located near the activity centers that support it. The advantage of storing IoT data on-premises and near their activity centers is that you don’t have to send the data to a remote cloud in real time, which incurs costs and a degree of unreliability if an internet connection falters. Data stored on the edge can be uploaded to a central repository at any time.
Popular use cases: Industrial manufacturing, where production lines use robots and automated machines that communicate back and forth, operating on IoT data, or remote field locations, such as a field office that collects and stores IoT data specific to that location.
SOC combines hardware and software, including components such as a graphics processing unit, a central processing unit, and system memory all on one chip†
This all-in-one chip builds in AI capability to operate advanced equipment for manufacturing and other industries. It can also store IoT data in read-only, random access, and flash memory. This chip is not designed to store large amounts of data, but in a limited memory footprint it can do a lot.
Popular use cases: smartphone memory, consumer electronics and limited geographic applications such as managing a traffic light in a smart city.
As companies deploy more IoT on the edge, they need a mix of storage strategies that range from off-premises cloud storage to different implementations of onsite edge storage. These options simplify the task of orchestrating an overarching IoT data storage architecture that can meet both cost and performance requirements.