What is edge computing and what are edge computers? What is the difference with cloud computing? Why would we use Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT on these devices? Quinten Feys, lead engineer at Koning & Hartman België, answers these questions and more in our latest blog on the benefits of edge computing.
Edge computers, often called Box PC’s, are very similar to the personal computers you’re used to. However, thanks to their light requirements, they have an unusually compact form. They are often powered by a cheap and cool running Celeron chip, and they’re often hardened to be deployed in industrial enviroments. Despite their weak computing power, they can be deployed with a fully capable Operating System. And that’s where Microsoft IoT comes in.
For years, Microsoft has anticipated the industrial computing need with its Embedded line of operating systems. The latest 'newcomer' is Windows 10 IoT. As its name suggests, it’s a fully featured version of Windows 10, optimised for industrial needs. The one thing everyone likes about it is there are no mandatory reboots or mandatory updates. Moreover, the price of a license is very attractive, as it scales with the cheap cpu.
The familiarity you and your engineers have with the Windows environment and the interconnection with the entire Microsoft ecosystem facilitates a quick go to market. Being part of the Windows 10 family also means that Windows 10 IoT is part of the most secure Windows version that was ever designed. Lastly, thanks to its easy integration with Azure Cloud, this operating system gives you the intelligent edge needed to complete your digital transformation.
Cloud computing? That means powerful computing resources, available anywhere you want, without paying for expensive hardware. Sounds good, right? There’s a catch: these computing resources and the connections towards them are fully controlled by third parties. Any connectivity or service interruption could cause a total shutdown of your entire process. And that’s a big problem: not just for profitability, but, more importantly, also for health, safety and environment.
That’s why edge computering offers the best of both worlds: the powerful resources in the cloud are combined with cheap, local hardware that’s fully under your control, eliminating a lot of risks and uncertainty.
Koning & Hartman België has years of experience as a distributor for both industrial PC’s and Windows embedded licenses. We combine our inhouse knowledge of what a good PC should offer with our partners’ high-quality products so we can offer your business the best possible solution for your needs.