Open Source Edge Computing Powers IoT

Jonathan MathewsPublic

Imad Sousou

The Open Source Summit Europe conference opens its doors on Oct. 23 in Prague this year. Ahead of the gathering of attendees and presenters representing all walks of Linux communities, interviewed industry leaders on some of the top emerging trends and issues of the day. Among those is edge computing, which Imad Sousou, vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corporation, shed considerable light on in this interview. He is also a keynote speaker, addressing this very topic at the event on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

There is good reason behind the industry’s interest in edge computing. The emerging connected world is predicted to contain a network of 50 billion devices and 200 billion sensors, connected to each other and the cloud, by the year 2020. That will generate an astounding amount of data, most of which will be streaming data in need of real-time or near real-time analysis.

The connected world holds a lot of promise—and an equal measure of complexity. That promise may seem like a long way from reality given the current mix of immature products and technologies. So how do we get there?

The industry is increasingly talking about edge computing as one way to fulfill this promise. We talked with Sousou about this new approach and on how Intel is helping bring it to market. Intel is talking more and more about the “edge to cloud” computing landscape. What does this mean and why is it important?

Imad Sousou: Until now, Intel has talked about devices, and we’ve talked about cloud. I think it’s important that we start to talk about them together. In the next few years, the industry can expect billions of devices will be connected to each other and to the cloud, generating massive amounts of data and putting a strain on bandwidth, no matter how much optimization work we do. These bandwidth constraints create a need for devices at the edge of the network to do processing and computation—we’re talking potentially about everything from lightbulbs and appliances to manufacturing lines, medical equipment and cars. These devices will soon need to create, transmit, store, process and act upon data in real time, locally. This “edge computing” pushes intelligence to the edge of the network, making the promise of smart cities, intelligent factories, and connected hospitals possible.

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