Revolutionizing Your IoT Architecture with Kubernetes

Tyler Au
5 minutes
April 11th, 2024
Tyler Au
5 minutes
April 11th, 2024

The IoT Architecture in Your Everyday Life

Nowadays, it seems like everything has the word “smart” appended to it. Smartwatch, smartphone, smart fridge- I even saw a smart pan the other day. These devices aren’t just “smart” for the sake of marketing and sales, they play an integral role in the overall IoT architecture.

Internet of Things (IoT) connects those smart devices with other devices and systems in a network. These devices serve a plethora of functions. Through sensors and software embedded in IoT devices, businesses are able to collect and exchange data, making more informed, data-driven decisions. Devices in these networks are tailored towards the device user as well, with the collected data making each user interaction better than the last. 

IoT’s applications extend way past just smart home capabilities. From smart medical devices and telehealth applications to citywide systems striving for sustainability, IoT is changing how we interact with technology on a daily basis. IoT has made us more connected than ever before and is capable of improving our lives past what we see on our phone or watch. The foundation of the beast that is IoT is the sound architecture it's built upon, though what goes into it?

What is the IoT Network Architecture?

IoT architecture is the framework responsible for interconnectivity between devices, services, systems, thus creating the IoT network. It’s important to that IoT architectures vary based on the ever-evolving needs of IoT devices and the sensors used, though layers of IoT architecture that are commonly seen throughout projects include:

Perception Layer

The perception layer is responsible for collecting data. Through sensors and actuators, as well as data-intaking software, the perception layer gathers raw data and is the physical base layer of an IoT architecture.

Network Layer

The network layer is in charge of transferring data between devices and systems. Utilizing various sources such as an internet gateway and intranet ports, the network layer is able to competently distribute data to the appropriate backend

Processing Layer

The processing layer is composed of the software and hardware components that collect, analyze, and process data. This layer in particular is responsible for preparing data for analysis or further action by businesses. Through machine learning algorithms, the processing layer is able to process and filter raw data, extracting useful information for automated actions.

Application Layer

The application layer is the layer that users see, providing services that manage whatever connected device a user possesses. IoT applications vary based on the IoT device, ranging from a smart home configuration app, to an app designed to change the lighting within a single lightbulb.

Other layers within an IoT architecture include business layers that provide business intelligence capabilities, security layers, and edge computing layers.

The stages of IoT architecture depend largely on the purpose of the connected device, types of data sought after, and business needs, though these aforementioned layers are largely prevalent within most IoT builds.

Despite the intricate stages of IoT architecture, there are certain shortcomings that companies using the tech must approach carefully. IoT services often face problems regarding:

  • Security and data privacy
  • Connectivity and power dependency
  • Network implementation
  • Reliability and downtime

And so on.

With such big IoT networks being established to better service both end users and companies, solutions that enhance a network’s scalability and uptime are of the utmost importance.

Kubernetes is one of those solutions. 

Kubernetes for IoT

Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform aimed at automating the many processes of containerized applications such deploying, scaling, and management. In a whitepaper published by Cisco in 2023, the company believes that Kubernetes can become one of the premier service orchestration options for IoT solutions because of its role in the architecture’s scalability and resilience. Kubernetes is a perfect option for IoT because of its:

  • Scalability: Automatically scales applications horizontally and vertically based on ever-growing IoT app demand
  • High Availability: Failed containers and nodes are detected and replaced, ensuring high service availability crucial to IoT. In the meantime, failed assets are healed and rescheduled.
  • Extensibility: Kubernetes is ever-expanding, making your approach to IoT as unique as the tools and plugins you choose to implement

Kubernetes, in itself, is a competent solution for leveling up any IoT architecture. To truly take your architecture and IoT network to the next level, consider pairing edge computing with Kubernetes.

IoT Edge Computing with Kubernetes

Edge computing is a framework that closes the gap between applications and data sources by having networks, devices, and systems close to the user. By having the ability to process data near its origin, companies engaging in edge computing can enjoy faster processing speeds and stronger data-driven insights.

Edge computing provides a faster and reliable service experience based on proximity alone, often mobilizing data centers for regional processing power. Edge computing enables better resource utilization at scale, stronger security policies, and improved cost savings amongst other benefits. As it pertains to IoT architecture, engaging in edge computing provides the following:

  • Reduced communication latency between devices and IoT networks
  • Faster response and processing
  • Improved network bandwidth
  • Real time analytics and rapid decision making through AI/ML
  • Increased data security and privacy

And so on.

Where Kubernetes fits in is deploying IoT services at the edge: both edge computing and IoT rely on lightweight hardware that is on site, Kubernetes provides a lightweight means of data processing through deploying and orchestrating containerized apps. Containerized apps, containing all of the software components vital towards operation, are suited for an edge computing approach to IoT because of their weight and independence. Lightweight enough to be competent in different locations, independent enough to provide resilience and value in data processing operations. 

Behind the scenes, Kubernetes would be orchestrating the containerized apps and ensuring that they’re resilient and available around-the-clock, turning your traditional IoT operation into a self-sufficient machine.

IoT Edge Computing Systems with Kubernetes and Lyrid

IoT applications and devices provide hosting businesses and end-users alike with unparalleled value, combining data-driven decisions with cutting edge ML algorithms to make our lives easier. 

On its own, IoT architectures are competent enough to operate. With Kubernetes, those same architectures are supercharged, becoming extremely resilient, scalable, and self-sufficient in the process. Deploying these same Kubernetes-charged IoT architectures at the Edge provides further data processing power and security capabilities.

Kubernetes is certainly a game changer for IoT, but novices and experts agree that it can be a headache at times. Lyrid Managed Kubernetes expands on the same benefits that Kubernetes offers, without the complexity. Power up your IoT operations with Lyrid Managed Kubernetes through:

  • Maximizing resource usage through automated distribution
  • Scaling clusters in real time based on resource demand
  • Automatically deploying services
  • Quickly provisioning clusters for IoT use

And so much more!

To learn more about how Lyrid Managed Kubernetes can impact your IoT architecture, book a call with one of our product specialists!

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