Advantech Edge Intelligence Server Accelerates IoT Implementation

08/04/2017 | Source: Digitimes

Global intelligent systems leader Advantech has introduced the concept of edge computing to its IoT (Internet of Things) solutions by offering an Edge Intelligence Server (EIS). The server’s built-in middleware performs preliminary computing to filter and compress data for cloud-based computing. 

If Big Data – generated by the Internet of Everything – were to rely only on central servers for processing, there would be a huge traffic burden caused by the transfer of massive data over the web from sensors to cloud-based servers, and resulting delays in response. Thus, the concept of edge computing is increasingly being adopted for IoT data transfer architecture to reduce the load on cloud computing-based resources through preliminary analysis by Edge Intelligence Servers.   Edge computing uses terminal devices to undertake preliminary data analysis that shortens response time, while cloud computing focuses on historical analysis and long-term data storage. Thus, edge computing collaborates with cloud computing to decrease data traffic and increase overall efficiency.  

For IoT data transfer architecture, demand for distributed computing and instant response is increasing. Using an Edge Intelligence Server to undertake preliminary screening, integration and computing of data, then transferring only the necessary key data to the cloud increases efficiency of data transfer and reduces delays in response.   Since data collected by IoT sensors comes in heterogeneous formats, cloud computing-based processing can be burdensome, especially if data formats are not standardized before transfer to the cloud. The Edge Intelligence Server, via its built-in middleware WISE-Agent, transforms various data formats into a standard MQTT (message queuing telemetry transport)-based protocol. This enables direct cloud-based data transfers.  

The concept of edge computing is increasingly popular. For example, Edge Intelligence Servers are used for monitoring and preventive maintenance of production equipment. Edge Intelligence Servers collect equipment operating data for analysis, then notify cloud-based management platforms about abnormal operating conditions or preventive repair alerts that reduce the possibility of breakdowns.   In the case of managing movable assets such as cranes and mining equipment, it is challenging to monitor operating conditions due to frequent changes in users, work locations, and conditions. Connected edge smart devices, in combination with sensors, enable owners to monitor distribution and operating conditions of their movable assets. 

The Edge Intelligence Server plays an important role in IoT data transfer architecture, not only helping connect equipment but also directing preliminary processing. The Advantech-developed Edge Intelligence Server solution features complete hardware/software integration, with the middleware WISE-Agent assisting in equipment connectivity and standardizing data formats. The built-in WISE-PaaS platform provides diverse smart management software applications that cover the usual needs of edge computing.