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Containers make it easier to run third-party apps for edge computing

Devang Bhatt

New NetCloud feature empowers Cradlepoint partners to leverage LTE networking and edge computing to create complete solutions for end users

Cloud, IoT, and edge computing mark disruptive waves of innovation. Each wave has unlocked new use cases and applications that once seemed unimaginable. Today, we depend on hyper-scaler cloud services — such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Google — on a daily basis without even realizing it.

While the benefits of cloud-based deployments are far and wide, some disadvantages have hindered its adoption for a number of applications. Running business-critical applications in the cloud is not always practical due to the need for guaranteed network reliability, low latency or security guidelines. Healthcare is a common example, where confidential patient data must be kept on premises to meet HIPAA guidelines.

The convergence of IoT and edge computing helps bridge this gap. With the ubiquity of IoT devices deployed across enterprise, industrial, and mobile applications, the constant influx of small bursts of data to the cloud adds up — becoming inefficient over the long term. Thanks to advancements in multi-core processor technology, edge routers deployed in branch, mobile, or IoT scenarios can now support edge computing applications. With dedicated compute resources, it’s possible to securely run custom third-party applications in a container that runs tasks and makes intelligent actions closer to the source without impacting the core functionality of the edge router.

Processing data locally guarantees low latency between IoT devices, reduces the amount of traffic over the WAN, and significantly offloads cloud computing resources. Consolidation of disparate IoT systems onto a single platform means lower total cost of ownership and increased operational efficiency for IT/OT teams.

Cradlepoint’s recent announcement for open integration and extensibility includes NetCloud Container Orchestrator (NCCO), which brings together Wireless WANs and edge compute into a consolidated platform. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cradlepoint, Rigado, and Microsoft partnered to create a workplace solution designed to help businesses reopen safely by ensuring social distancing protocols and enhancing hygiene standards for employees and customers. Migrating Rigado’s standalone application onto Cradlepoint’s platform — which supports container and open extensibility to Microsoft Azure IoT Central — creates a market-ready solution that can be quickly deployed at scale for a variety of use cases. Examples include restaurants, retail, and hospitals.

To cultivate an ecosystem and help partners build business-critical applications, Cradlepoint has embraced an open standard approach by leveraging Docker Hub, a popular repository for developers to build applications and access libraries. Using NetCloud, a container can be easily deployed on groups of Cradlepoint routers  from the Docker Hub. And afterwards, NCCO provides an essential framework for provisioning and managing these applications by getting status, monitoring, and starting/stopping of applications running in containers. Check out the Knowledge base article to learn more.

As Cradlepoint’s Technology Alliance Program continues to expand into new frontiers, I’m excited about the next wave of innovative applications partners will run through Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service. What edge computing application will you build on Cradlepoint?

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