It is relatively easy to put together an IoT proof of concept (PoC) that sends device data to the cloud, but the challenges get more complex when deploying enterprise-grade IoT at scale. These challenges include integration with factory and enterprise systems, data securitization and doing all of this without incrementing the project budget.
The IoT environment on enterprises is far more complex than what it takes to build a PoC for end customers solutions. Usually, these applications are not going to be integrated with the company’s existing IT infrastructure and will operate in their own silo.
Data integration, key feature
The real value of IoT lies in integrating device data with the enterprise data. However, before the device data is integrated, it needs to be transformed from one protocol to another, cleaned and routed to applications that need to act on it.
In some scenarios, the device data needs to be acted upon in real time with business-critical functions continuing even with loss of network connectivity, a must for life-preserving safety systems or critical infrastructure.
Edge computing and Node-RED are the solution
Combining Edge computing and Node-RED, these IoT challenges can solve by bringing data processing and analytics closer to devices where data is being generated. Creating two different flows allow to prioritize and route data to when and where it's needed (e.g. critical alerts can be redirected to a different endpoint). In addition, usually only a small subset of data needs to be sent to the cloud server for long term storage or further processing and analyzing.
Node-RED allows to create a customized solution for each application, regardless of the communication protocol, the destination cloud server and the data format needed. Node-RED’s power increases exponentially when it runs on a Linux embedded system because it can perform a complete real-time management.
Scalability and maintenance
The enterprise considerations not only involve building an IoT solution, but also how to scale this solution to hundreds of sites, managing infrastructure and application lifecycle at various locations.
By using open-source tools like Node-RED, developers can access Open APIs data without worrying about the hardware interfaces or device drivers. This feature allows companies to build solutions able to communicate with any sensor, protocol and interface, from core to edge.
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