Dirk Kutscher

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RFC 9556: Internet of Things (IoT) Edge Challenges and Functions

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Many Internet of Things (IoT) applications have requirements that cannot be satisfied by centralized cloud-based systems (i.e., cloud computing). These include time sensitivity, data volume, connectivity cost, operation in the face of intermittent services, privacy, and security. As a result, IoT is driving the Internet toward edge computing.

We have published RFC 9556, outlining the requirements of the emerging IoT edge and its challenges. It presents a general model and major components of the IoT edge to provide a common basis for future discussions in the Thing-to-Thing Research Group (T2TRG) and other IRTF and IETF groups.

Today, many IoT services leverage cloud computing platforms because they provide virtually unlimited storage and processing power. The reliance of IoT on back-end cloud computing provides additional advantages, such as scalability and efficiency. At the time of writing, IoT systems are fairly static with respect to integrating and supporting computation. It is not that there is no computation, but that systems are often limited to static configurations (edge gateways and cloud services).

However, IoT devices generate large amounts of data at the edges of the network. To meet IoT use case requirements, data is increasingly being stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to the data sources. These requirements include time sensitivity, data volume, connectivity cost, and resiliency in the presence of intermittent connectivity, privacy, and security, which cannot be addressed by centralized cloud computing. A more flexible approach is necessary to address these needs effectively. This involves distributing computing (and storage) and seamlessly integrating it into the edge-cloud continuum. We refer to this integration of edge computing and IoT as "IoT edge computing". RFC 9556 describes the related background, use cases, challenges, system models, and functional components.

Written by dkutscher

May 7th, 2024 at 11:12 am

Posted in IRTF,Publications

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