Sinclair: You have been talking about the Edge for a while now. What is the Edge?
Petock: Traditionally, data gathered from our building systems, equipment and devices had to be routed back to the Cloud and/or the Enterprise in order to be mined for insights. The Edge is the means to connect, collect, process data, and take actions at the sensor, controller, and equipment levels (the device-level) rather than in the Cloud or at the Enterprise. Look at it as the ability to execute applications traditionally associated with the enterprise or middleware closer to the source itself.
Sinclair: How did it come about?
Petock: It has been driven by a variety of elements that have merged. These include the breadth of connectivity options that are now available, the volume of data at our disposal, and the increase in real-time requirements. There has also been a shift toward more IP-enabled devices, advances in the power and smartness of hardware (more capacity, higher levels of data processing, increased storage capabilities). The reduction in costs of more powerful processors, the exponential growth of IoT, insufficient bandwidth and the movement to a distributed, more flat/horizontal building architecture has also contributed to the shift.