Edge of Things: The Big Picture on the Integration of Edge, IoT and the Cloud in a Distributed Computing Environment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
IEEE Access, 2017, 6 pp. 1706 - 1717
Issue Date:
2017-12-04
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© 2013 IEEE. A centralized infrastructure system carries out existing data analytics and decision-making processes from our current highly virtualized platform of wireless networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) applications. There is a high possibility that these existing methods will encounter more challenges and issues in relation to network dynamics, resulting in a high overhead in the network response time, leading to latency and traffic. In order to avoid these problems in the network and achieve an optimum level of resource utilization, a new paradigm called edge computing (EC) is proposed to pave the way for the evolution of new age applications and services. With the integration of EC, the processing capabilities are pushed to the edge of network devices such as smart phones, sensor nodes, wearables, and on-board units, where data analytics and knowledge generation are performed which removes the necessity for a centralized system. Many IoT applications, such as smart cities, the smart grid, smart traffic lights, and smart vehicles, are rapidly upgrading their applications with EC, significantly improving response time as well as conserving network resources. Irrespective of the fact that EC shifts the workload from a centralized cloud to the edge, the analogy between EC and the cloud pertaining to factors such as resource management and computation optimization are still open to research studies. Hence, this paper aims to validate the efficiency and resourcefulness of EC. We extensively survey the edge systems and present a comparative study of cloud computing systems. After analyzing the different network properties in the system, the results show that EC systems perform better than cloud computing systems. Finally, the research challenges in implementing an EC system and future research directions are discussed.
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