Why M2M middleware?

The boundary between the digital and physical worlds is blurring. Sophisticated new sensors are affordable, easy to deploy and capture detailed information about the world in which we live. Mobile (and increasingly autonomous) devices are commonplace and reaching out to inaccessible and inhospitable places so that we don’t have to. Smart machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction — often driven by sensor data — is creating an ecosystem of intelligent devices that is rapidly changing the way that we live and work in the physical world.

In our rush to deploy clever new technology we need to be mindful of the complexity that we might inadvertently bring. The danger is that we will find ourselves surrounded by a collection of stovepipe systems that each do a great job, but that don’t work well together. Of course, we can generally get all that data back to the enterprise for sharing — at the cost of power and bandwidth — but wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to? That’s not what M2M is about.

Twenty years ago enterprise IT systems were stovepipes of functionality. They too did a great job, but with limited integration, inherent fragility and single points of failure. The solution was middleware. Let the app developers focus on apps and let the middleware worry about the rest (discovery, integration, reliability, …)

And that’s where Edgware comes in — middleware for systems in the physical world. Edgware integrates the diverse devices that run at the digital/physical boundary and, when needed, it integrates them back into the enterprise.

Enterprise middleware is built for the cosy, reliable, managed world of the data center and a very good job it does too. At the boundary between the digital and physical worlds, however, we are faced with a life of constraints and compromises. Power and bandwidth come at a premium. Networks can be unreliable and high latency. We can move data around, but we don’t want to move too much, too often or too far. Systems come and go.

So, Edgware isn’t built from enterprise middleware but it behaves like enterprise middleware. Written from the ground up to address these unique challenges, Edgware simplifies and unifies the way in which devices are discovered, accessed and utilized.