Gateways are emerging as a key element of bringing legacy and next-gen devices to the Internet of Things (IoT). They integrate protocols for networking, help manage storage and edge analytics on the data, and facilitate data flow securely between edge devices and the cloud.
IoT gateways perform several critical functions such as device connectivity, protocol translation, data filtering and processing, security, updating, management and more. Newer IoT gateways also operate as platforms for application code that processes data and becomes an intelligent part of a device-enabled system
An IoT gateway device bridges the communication gap between IoT devices, sensors, equipment, systems and the cloud. By systematically connecting the field and the cloud, IoT gateway devices offer local processing and storage solutions, as well as the ability to autonomously control field devices based on data input by sensors.
An Edge Gateway sits at the intersection of edge systems, between the external internet and the local intranet that is being used by the other devices in your ecosystem. Thus it is the key access point for network connectivity, both inside and outside your device ecosystem.
How Does an IoT Gateway Device Work?
As the abilities and needs of devices proliferate, it is often not possible to have them communicate directly with systems. Some sensors and controllers don’t support energy-intensive protocols like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Some devices aggregate data so that it is overwhelming and invaluable in its raw form and they are all connecting to a variety of public and private networks.
An IoT gateway performs several critical functions from translating protocols to encrypting, processing, managing and filtering data. If you imagine an IoT ecosystem, a gateway sits between devices and sensors to communicate with the cloud.
Why Use an IoT Gateway Device?
IoT gateways help to bridge the gap between operations and IT infrastructure within a business. They do this by optimizing system performance through the operational data they gather and process in real-time in the field or at the network edge.
IoT gateways can perform a number of enhancements on the OT and IT silos:
- High Scalability – they are able to take intelligent data from the datacenter or cloud and push into the field or network edge.
- Lowering Costs – end-point devices needn’t have as high processing power, memory or storage since the gateway does this all for them.
- Faster Production – an accelerated and more advanced production line can decrease time-to-market significantly.
- Reduce Telecommunications Cost – less M2M communication means a smaller network and (WAN) traffic.
- Mitigate Risks – gateways can isolate devices and sensors that aren’t performing before they cause bigger problems for the production line.