#IBMTHINK2018: The era of edge computing could positively impact the African Continent


The era of edge computing could open more opportunities for the African continent than we could ever imagine.

With edge-computing becoming a buzz word largely because of our devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, IoT devices) on the fringes of centralized systems can hold much more information and do more with it than in years past.

Speaking at a round table at the ongoing IBM THINK 2018 Conference in Las Vegas Nevada, Guido Jouret, Chief Digital Officer, ABB, said that the era of edge computing could be the answer to the many challenges faced by not the African Continent but by the emerging markets as well.

He defined edge computing as per sort of a mesh network of micro data centers that process or store critical data locally and push all received data to a central data center or cloud storage repository, in a footprint of less than 100 square feet.

It is typically referred to in IoT use cases, where edge devices would collect data – sometimes massive amounts of it and send it all to a data center or cloud for processing. Edge computing triages the data locally so some of it is processed locally, reducing the backhaul traffic to the central repository.

Typically, this is done by the IoT devices transferring the data to a local device that includes compute, storage and network connectivity in a small form factor. Data is processed at the edge, and all or a portion of it is sent to the central processing or storage repository in a corporate data center, co-location facility or IaaS cloud.

Citing an example with ABB, work in South Africa, around the addressing the issue on  power oitages in South Africa, Mr. Jouret said that ABB had powered the entire Robben Island in South Africa on Micro-grids therefore reducing cases of  any planned or unplanned power outages on the main grid supply.

The ABB’s Microgrids are cloud-based remote service systems and are deployed for the operations and maintenance of the microgrid in keeping with ABB’s Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) approach.

ABB has around 40 microgrid installations around the world, across a diverse range of applications serving remote communities, islands, utilities and industrial campuses.


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