Bridging the IoT Computing Gap: Edge Compute, IoT Gateways, and AWS
I’m at AWS re: Invent this week – it’s always an exciting show with fantastic exhibits, compelling presentations, and cutting edge demos. It’s been great to see all that Cisco is doing with AWS, in terms of networking, security, analytics, and management. One of the things we are excited to bring to this year’s event is a demo of our Cisco IoT portfolio which showcases some of that innovation.
Developers building IoT systems in industries like energy, transportation, and mining need secure, reliable, and always-on compute from the edge to their applications in the cloud or data centers. Edge compute enables developers to reduce latency with decisions at the edge, lower transport costs by only transmitting valuable information and resiliency in case of backhaul disruptions. Cisco has extended the leading secure networking platform with orchestration of containers and microservices for IoT edge use cases.
The demo showcases an industrial IoT environment with distributed assets being remotely monitored, performing data extraction, and being controlled from a service running on AWS. As a part of the demo, Cisco and AWS developers collaborated to build a system to extract data from an asset with a Cisco IoT gateway executing AWS Lambda microservices that were developed on AWS. To accomplish this use case, Cisco and AWS have enabled AWS Greengrass core in a secure container, hosted in a Cisco IoT gateway. Cisco IoT gateways are enabled with the Cisco Kinetic IoT platform that combined, provide:
- Secure zero-touch deployment and simplified cloud management of IoT gateways
- Enforcement of data distribution policies on the network
- Seamless interoperability between AWS IoT and the Cisco edge compute platform
This is a great use case to highlight, as industrial IoT deployments need to securely connect assets to the network without requiring IT experts. Customers want to extract data for a variety of business purposes including condition-based maintenance and remote management of assets. If managing something like a remote oil pump (LACT) in the energy sector or heavy equipment in the construction sector, there are similar requirements for distributed assets connected over non-reliable network links.
Using the Cisco IOx edge computing platform, developers can build applications in any programming language, use open-source container tools for packaging, and deploy them on thousands of remote IoT gateways with a single click of a button. Cisco IOx allows only trusted applications to run on the gateways, thus securing critical assets and processes against malicious attacks. Cisco’s AppDynamics tools provide end-to-end visibility into complex IoT infrastructure and business processes by monitoring gateways, networking elements, and edge/cloud applications. AppDynamics tools track KPIs and greatly reduce service restoration, incident response times, and overall operation costs, by sending real-time alerts back to operations, so developers can troubleshoot applications without physically visiting the sites. The demo Cisco and AWS collaborated on brings the agility and flexibility of serverless computing to the Cisco IoT portfolio. AWS Greengrass integrated with Cisco IOx, allows developers to author serverless code (AWS Lambda functions) in the cloud and conveniently deploy it to Cisco IoT devices for local execution. AWS Lambda functions perform real-time data analytics near the source and send filtered data to business applications in AWS cloud for deeper analytics.
Our demo shows how a developer can create AWS Lambda microservices, run them on the cloud, and easily extend and execute the same microservices in a container-based architecture in the Cisco IoT gateway portfolio. Cisco has combined industry-leading, IOS-powered IoT gateway platforms with the capabilities of Cisco Kinetic to deliver Kinetic-enabled IoT-gateways that enable partners and developers on this open system. The result is Cisco IoT gateways that securely connect assets, perform edge compute functions written as AWS Lambda microservices, and securely transmit the data to the application in AWS.
This is a great example of how Cisco is working directly with AWS to give customers and developers to accelerate their projects and bridge the IoT computing gap from cloud to the edge.
If you are here at AWS re: Invent this week, stop by our booth the see this demo in action.
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