Cloud of Things and Blockchain (BCoT) integration.
The IoT has advanced rapidly, necessitating tools such as cloud, edge computing and fog computing to improve processes. However, the centralized systems in the cloud that have been having so much control all these years are no longer starting to be liked as much as before due to the large amount of data being processed. This is why the use of blockchain together with Cloud of things (BCoT) is something that many companies see as promising.
The IoT sector needs technical
First of all, we must define Cloud Computing (CC) in a simple way. It is a cloud-based storage technology that allows remote access to software, files and data processing via the Internet. This avoids local devices or servers requiring high power to run applications with heavy workloads, thus offering a wide variety of resources in an easy, secure and on-demand way.
Due to the continuous growth of IoT devices and the large volume of data to be processed, storing all this data in the cloud is complex and costly depending on the desired storage capacity requirements. That is why the Cloud of Things (CoT) was born, where IoT is integrated with Cloud Computing (CC), in order to analyze and process data in a more optimal way. The Cloud of Things allows to develop more advanced systems, monitor IoT devices and manage them remotely in a more efficient way. Some common platforms are OpenIoT, AWS IoT, CloudPlugs.
However, the Cloud of Things also presents a number of issues to consider. First, most CoT solutions are based on a centralized model where the data generated by IoT devices is managed and stored on a central server in the cloud, which can be prone to attacks for data theft or modification, thus offering not entirely reliable security. On the other hand, many CoT infrastructures rely on a third party to process IoT data in the cloud, which means that you have no data privacy or control over your data. Finally, it should be noted that having a centralized network, there is a higher power consumption of IoT devices and some latency in communications, thus giving a scalability problem for the IoT sector. That is why it has been seen a way to improve the CoT problems if combined with Blockchain technology.
Edge Computing & Fog Computing
There are certain improvement techniques to avoid sending a constant large volume of data to the cloud and to be able to analyze efficiently and without such high cost all this large amount of data. Solutions such as Edge Computing and Fog Computing, allow to analyze data before sending it to the cloud. Basically, the main solution is that all data produced by many sensors are not sent directly to the cloud, but are treated as close as possible to the place where it is being produced and then simply send the relevant information to the cloud. By processing the data and analyzing it very close to where it is produced, there is less latency, less consumption due to a short trip and a lower cost.
Fog Computing is a decentralized computing architecture through which data is processed and stored outside the cloud. In other words, in order to be more efficient, streamline processes and be faster, the data is processed much closer to where it originates and in smaller decentralized data centers, and then the important data is sent to the cloud. Fog Nodes are the processing nodes that act as intermediaries between the cloud and IoT devices. Edge computing, however, consists of processing and storing data in real time in the same IoT device that is collecting the data and even responding to certain parameters if necessary. Edge computing greatly improves the speed and performance of data processing and logically its transport. So the main difference between fog computing and edge computing is that in the latter, data processing and storage is performed on the devices themselves, while in the former, these data are taken to decentralized processing nodes and then sent to the cloud.
The need for Blockchain in CoT
As we have explained, Cloud Of Things has some drawbacks which could be largely solved with Blockchain technology. By providing a decentralized storage architecture, blockchain can enable cloud storage functions that are highly resilient to data modifications. Instead of relying on traditional cloud data centers, blockchain interconnects nodes, virtual machines in the cloud and external computers, to build a fully decentralized storage system without the need for a central authority.
Blockchain can have great influence in the field of functionality or performance improvement of IoT devices. As a decentralized system governed by many nodes that can process and store data at the same time, data processing and decision making time could be greatly reduced, thus improving speed. In addition, security would be improved since, once data is entered into the blockchain, it cannot be modified or deleted. Contrary to what happens with cloud computing, which usually handles a large amount of data and there is always the risk of being hacked due to its centralized architecture and with the possibility of collapsing the central system with no option of data recovery. However, with blockchain, apart from everything being registered and traceable, as we have mentioned, it is immutable.
In summary, Blockchain brings benefits of decentralized data storage and processing, increased data security, more efficient and verifiable data traceability, real-time feedback and greater scalability. Blockchain technology combined with Cloud Of Things, enables IoT devices and the industry in general to create solutions that are more scalable and ready for a large increase in data processing. The integration of Blockchain and CoT will offer faster, more scalable and secure computing than is currently offered in centralized systems.