14 July 2020

Understanding the difference between Cloud and Edge

More and more talk within industry is happening around cloud and edge. Digitalization and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has created the need for these types of devices and has spurred companies to research and incorporate them into their environments. But even with all the discussions and conversations about cloud and edge, sometimes the difference between the two can be blurred.

As manufacturing continues to become more and more digital these technologies will become critical in manufacturing environments and it is important for you to know the differences. First let’s discuss cloud. Cloud refers to a centralized location usually servers at a data center where data from an end device can be managed, processed, and analyzed. Edge refers to data coming directly from key devices that is moved to the edge of the network. This allows real-time processing and analysis on a local level.

So the question is should my facility utilize edge or cloud computing? The answer is both. Each has its advantages and limitations. Ideally, companies should be using both in order to process and analyze timely data locally to resolve issues or make improvements quickly and non-timely data within the cloud to utilize “big data” analytics.

I recently read an article by POWER magazine, The POWER Interview: Understanding the difference between Cloud and Edge, that I felt highlighted some key points to help further understand the differences. Check out this article to get more information on edge and cloud: here

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