Understanding the unique requirements of the edge-computing infrastructure is critical

Data management in the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing is becoming increasingly more important as technology evolves and business is conducted in new ways. Truth be told, deciding how to manage data on the edge has been easy for most because until recently, the options have been limited: 1.) Sending data collected on the edge (at or near the collection point) to the cloud or a data center for analysis and storage, or 2.) discarding the data.

A third, more viable option to many using IoT and IIoT applications has become available: Databases that operate on edge hardware. However, not just any database will do. It should be a database that is specifically built for use in the unique environment of the edge.

A database that is truly built for use on the edge will empower organizations with the ability to store and process their data at or near the collection point, setting the stage for mission-critical, and possibly, life-saving decisions to be made much faster and very reliably, without the need to rely solely on the cloud.

Key Questions to Ask Database Solution Providers

There is no single database solution that fits all, rather each business should look to its unique case on the edge in order to determine the best choice. Having said that, there are a number of questions that should be asked when choosing a database for use on the edge:

  • Can it guarantee data quality using transactional edge persistence (i.e., the data remains available after collection)?
  • With what level of development efforts can it collect and store mission-critical data on the edge?
  • Does it enable real-time IoT decision making? Can it query live data fast enough to use that information to take action?
  • How many major IoT operating systems and hardware platforms does it support? Can it run natively on the OS and hardware?
  • Can it provide flexible/scalable data management: Portability, data partitioning, data coalescing and replication?
  • Does it support popular communication interfaces and multiple integrations?
  • What communication protocols are supported to securely transmit selected data, such as strong encryption?
  • What security features does it provide for all data stored at the edge?
  • Can it use both SQL and NoSQL microservices to collect, query and analyze data in real-time?
  • What analytics tools can be integrated for use over actual real-time unstructured data?
  • How big (or rather, small in this case) is the footprint?

A High-Speed IoT Database

One database that passes the test posed by this list of essential questions is the new c-treeEDGE IoT Database. This new solution by FairCom Corporation is a high-speed IoT database featuring unique technology that facilitates full-featured, high-performance data management while running on IoT and IIoT gateways and on the smallest edge devices. c-treeEDGE has a very small footprint as low as 37 megabytes, but it is powerful enough to host data from thousands of sensors. It can also be easily used with ThingWorx via the c-treeEDGE IoT Database Extension for ThingWorx, which is available on the PTC Marketplace.

Regardless of the database you choose to run on the edge, it should be one that meets your needs and can easily adapt as those needs and technology change.

Notes:

Detailed information about operating a database on the edge is available in this free (no-strings-attached) white paper “To collect and manage data on the edge, not just any database will do.”

Information about the c-treeEDGE IoT Database can be accessed at FairCom.com/products/c-treeedge.

ThingWorx users can learn more about the c-treeEDGE IoT Database for ThingWorx at https://marketplace.ptc.com/apps/206340/c-treeedge-iot-database-extension#!overview.


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