Decreasing the complexity of IoT adoption with Edge as a Service model

Sarah Dickinson

Sarah Dickinson

on 23 May 2018

 

Last week, much of the IoT industry descended on Santa Clara, California, for the annual IoT World trade show. One of the exhibitors present were Rigado who Canonical partnered with earlier this year to deploy Ubuntu Core on their IoT gateways primarily targeted at commercial applications such as smart lighting and asset tracking. Rigado used IoT World as an opportunity to discuss the launch of Cascade, their new ‘Edge as a Service’ proposition, for commercial IoT.

Cascade, which is offered as a simple monthly subscription, enables companies to focus on their business and what generates revenue rather than expending effort and resource dedicated to managing the infrastructure behind it. With many organisations looking at ways they can benefit from adopting IoT while removing perceived barriers, Cascade offers a low-risk, low-cost entry which in turn enables project teams to benefit from reduced development, support and no upfront hardware costs. The end result is a quicker path to IoT deployment and resulting ROI.

Cascade consists of 4 elements that take the complexity of the underlying infrastructure away from a company’s developers so they can focus on building their applications for the commercial IoT world whether it be a restaurant, smart office or retail environment.  

These 4 elements include:

  1. Hardware: a Cascade-500 IoT gateway offering a range of connectivity options including Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth 5.
  2. Security: Cascade Edge Protect provides automatic OS and security updates as well as signature authentication to enable control for developers on what is published is as intended.
  3. Device orchestration and performance monitoring: Cascade Edge Direct enables teams to diagnose issues, provision gateways, apply application updates using an app store deployment model and other capabilities to keep technicians out of the field where their time is costly by enabling remote management.
  4. Fully containerised OS: Cascade Edge Connect gives teams a secure connectivity and computing platform as well as simplifying connections to IoT sensors and beacons via APIs reducing the expertise needed to execute.

With such complexity removed from internal development, support and business teams, no CAPEX and limited yet flexible OPEX, it provides more freedom for companies of any size to either initiate or expand the use of IoT in their organisation – whether it be to derive value for their customers or drive efficiencies for their own benefit.

Rigado’s partnership with Canonical underpins Cascade with Ubuntu Core, snaps and the adoption of a private brand store all being at the heart of the 4 elements mentioned above. The security capabilities of Ubuntu Core and snaps removes the concern and management of potential vulnerabilities. Automatic updates ease deployment to devices in the field while allowing developers to build snaps that provide their customers with new features. With Rigado adopting Canonical’s private brand store offering as part of Cascade, it allows end customers to manage, publish and deploy their applications with minimal effort required.

With research highlighting that quantifying ROI and a struggle to hire professionals with the right skills are two of the main challenges organisations are facing when adopting an IoT project, the introduction of a subscription or ‘as a service’ model for IoT such as Cascade alleviates these two obstacles. By also bringing IoT more in line with other SaaS models, it signifies another step in the maturity of this burgeoning industry.

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