Architecture of IoT
The “Internet of Things” or IoT describes a network of cyber-physical objects-things– that are embedded with sensors and other edge technologies to enable them to connect to the internet and exchange data with other devices. Now, assuming that you have a broad understanding of what IoT is, let us talk about the architecture of IoT.
By the end of the year 2021, the world population is expected to cross 7.8 billion people and approximately about 28-30 billion connected objects. What does this figure indicate? The number of connected devices will soon surpass the number of human beings who are present on earth. This figure itself throws light on the plethora of opportunities that IoT and its allied technologies offer to mankind. The key objective of using IoT technology is for the transformation of objects into smart objects, which can make our lives easy.
As experts estimate the installation of 31 billion connected IoT devices worldwide and as IoT offers endless opportunities, as a result, this brilliant concept appears to be too complicated to be understood and implemented. In conclusion, there is a need to establish a reliable architecture of IoT.
As of now, there is not a single universally accepted standard architecture of IoT but the basic process flow, on which IoT is based and built, is common. Broadly, there are two types of IoT architectures and they are
1. Three Layer Architecture
2. Five Layer Architecture
The 3 layered Architecture of IoT:
The most basic architecture of the Internet of Things is the three-layered architecture model.
It has three layers, namely,
1. Perception Layer
2. Network Layer
3. Application Layer
(i) The perception layer is the physical layer, which has sensors for sensing the surroundings and gathering data about the environment. It senses the physical quantities in the environment.
(ii) The network layer acts as a bridge between the perception layer and the application layer. It is responsible for connecting to other smart things, network devices, and servers. It is not only used for transmission of data but also can be used for processing it.
(iii) The application layer is responsible for providing application-specific services to the user and defines various applications in which IoT can be implemented. It is basically the layer which users interact with or get insights from.
Even though the three-layer architecture briefly explains the main idea of IoT, since research is more detail-oriented, it is often not sufficient. Hence there is a need for a more detailed architecture of IoT.
The 5 layered Architecture of IoT:
The five-layered architecture of IoT additionally includes the processing and business layers. Hence the five layers are: Perception, Transport/Network, Processing, Application and Business layers. The role of the Perception and Application layers is exactly similar to the description in the 3 layer architecture of IoT.
(i) The transport layer transmits the data collected by the sensors in the perception layer to the processing layer via networks such as LAN, BLE, RFID, NFC, etc.
(ii) The processing layer is also called the Middleware layer. It can store, analyse and process hefty amounts of data transmitted and provide a number of services to the lower layers. Many technologies like databases, cloud computing, big data, data analysis are deployed on this layer.
(iii) The business layer handles and manages the entire IoT system, including applications, business, security, etc. The business logic as well as the problem-solving solutions and achieving business goals are involved in this layer.