As we’ve detailed on this blog many times over the past few years, organizations across practically every industry segment have discovered new and compelling ways to put edge computing to work to streamline their operational efficiency and drive real-time decision making.
From the maritime industry and the offshore container ships that propel the global supply chain to manufacturers building the smart factories of tomorrow, the power of putting edge computing systems in close proximity to where data and users live is transforming how we work and live.
While edge computing is having a disruptive impact on industry, what effect might it have on the most existential threat of our time: climate change?
Look no further than the Canadian province of Ontario where one Scale Computing customer is using edge computing to improve the way it monitors and manages the health of its most critical natural resource - its watershed, an essential resource that ensures residents have access to clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and sustainable recreational areas for future generations.
Situated within one of the most-densely populated regions of Canada, the Credit River watershed contains some of the most diverse landscapes in southern Ontario. Overseeing the health of this expansive area is the Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), a non-profit government agency that’s tasked with protecting, restoring, and managing natural resources at the watershed level.
To ensure the sustainability of its sprawling watershed, the CVC maintains a network of 40 sensors that monitor water levels across the region. This sensor network has been vital in understanding and monitoring flow dynamics throughout the entire 860 square kilometer Credit Valley watershed. When it comes to responding to extreme conditions such as a drought or a flood, time is of the essence.
As Caswell Allen, Sr. Technical Advisor for the CVC explains, “these sensors send vital information in real time on current environmental conditions. This allows us to better understand, predict and warn about flooding, threats to water quality, and low water levels.”
Because these IoT sensors are dispersed across hundreds of kilometers of wild terrain where Internet connectivity is spotty at best, transmitting and processing large volumes of high-frequency monitoring data between this network of IoT sensors and the cloud simply wasn’t an option. In this type of unpredictable edge environment, data must instead be processed locally at the sensor level, so information can be quickly shared with the various constituents that need to access this real-time data.
Following a comprehensive review of edge computing vendors, the CVC chose Scale Computing over a competing VMWare-based solution due to the completeness of its capabilities relative to its total cost and “the ease of managing an all-in-one solution.
As Caswell says, “our Scale Computing deployment is truly a solution that meets both our IT and OT requirements - from running commercial and custom-built applications that our employees use to stay productive to processing and serving the sensor data that feed our website with the real-time water level data that our constituents demand.”
To learn more about how Scale Computing is helping organizations put the edge to work, you can read the entire CVC case study.