The IoT gateway is an appliance or software deployed in an IoT network. It provides the communication gate between IoT edge (controllers, sensors, and intelligent machinery) and the cloud. Any data moving between IoT devices and the external network or cloud must stop by the gateway.
IoT gateways can be classified as commercial and industrial IoT gateways. The similarities are that both provide interconnectivity, security, centralized data acquisition, and data pre-processing. The main difference is that both are designed to operate under different environmental conditions.
In this post, we’ll go through the differences between commercial and industrial IoT gateway. We’ll provide a detailed definition of each type of IoT gateway, their differences, their applications, and a few examples of real solutions.
The Industrial IoT Gateway.
The industrial IoT (IIoT) gateway is a rugged networking platform built to operate under challenging (or extreme) industrial environments. Variables like wide-ranging temperatures, humidity, radiation, and vibration can instantly damage the internal sensitive components of any electronic device. So, the industrial IoT gateway is designed to withstand harsh and challenging environments found in manufacturing, oil & gas, power, PV farms, etc. Places where traditional servers would quickly die.
Low power consumption and high reliability are two more design considerations for an industrial IoT gateway. Industrial remote IIoT deployments may lack power and telecommunications resources, so an industrial IoT gateway must adapt its radio and computational units to use low energy resources. Generally, the industrial IoT gateway also has robust computing and networking capabilities. It should ease IIoT deployments by providing secure and reliable communication between the industrial IT and OT domains.
Key design considerations:
- Power efficiency
- Rich I/O
- Robust processing
- Wireless and wired
The Commercial IoT Gateway.
The commercial IoT gateway is designed for applications related to businesses or commerce, usually found in commercial buildings, A/C offices, or well-maintained areas. A commercial IoT gateway can operate in supermarkets, office spaces, hotels, restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, etc. It is suitable for many applications, from monitoring smart buildings, controlling digital signage at terminals to asset tracking in stores.
Commercial IoT gateways usually have similar (or better) computing, storage, and networking capabilities than the Industrial IoT gateway. Since commercial IoT gateways are deployed in a more “suitable” space, they usually have reliable 24/7 access to power and communications. Commercial IoT gateways usually come with a wide range of wireless connectivity types, including Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, LoRa, and LTE. And, having more access to infrastructure, commercial IoT gateways usually have more Ethernet ports. In addition, commercial IoT gateways would usually come with a breadth of I/O interfaces, including USB, HDMI, FireWire, serial, and even expansion slots.
Key design considerations:
- Rich network, wired and wireless.
- Custom robust processing.
- Rich I/O.
Commercial Vs Industrial IoT Gateway: Their Differences Explained.
The main difference between the commercial and the industrial IoT gateway comes down to its operational environment.
Industrial IoT gateways are built to withstand harsh industrial environments, be power-efficient, and with the appropriate I/O and support IoT protocols for industrial applications. An industrial IoT gateway also has exceptional computing, storage, and network capabilities to provide industrial applications’ critical reliability and uptime. On the other hand, a commercial IoT gateway is not built for harsh environments, as they are usually deployed inside A/C, safe, and wide spaces. This consideration gives more room for a commercial IoT gateway to come with better networking and computing capabilities.
Still, these differences do not establish black and white; there is also gray. Commercial IoT gateway appliances may also come ready for some industrial applications, and vice-versa, industrial IoT gateway may be deployed in safe commercial buildings.
Differences in use cases:
- Industrial IoT gateways are deployed in challenging environments like solar power farms, wind generators, oil and gas, manufacturing floors, etc. These appliances are commonly used for industrial automation, including robotics and manufacturing control.
- The commercial IoT gateway is a good fit for places with rich infrastructure, including A/C, unlimited power source, space, and easy access to wired networks. Commercial IoT gateways are common in healthcare facilities and commercial buildings.
*All of the above models are Fanless
Commercial and Industrial IoT Gateway Solutions.
Lanner provides secure, reliable, robust commercial and industrial IoT gateways for IoT and IIoT deployments. Below are some of the key features found on these solutions:
- Connectivity: A combination of OT or IT connectivity solutions, including serial, MQTT, LTE, WiFi, or Modbus, should help bridge both IT and OT domains. In addition, wireless should help reach remote and distributed IoT and IIoT devices.
- I/O: Inputs and outputs are necessary for supporting different IoT and IIoT applications. Appliances may come with extensive I/O including USB, HDMI, etc.
- Security: An IIoT gateway provides the first line of defense for industrial networks. It serves as a proxy to all networks, including external or internal. The IIoT gateway interconnects all the internal IIoT devices with “external devices” or the public network.
- Data processing: Some IoT gateways have the computing capabilities to process data and introduce intelligence at the edge. More intelligence at the edge can help develop more.
- Rugged Certifications. Some devices are certified to withstand the most extreme conditions such as military or construction. They can withstand wide temperatures, humidity, vibration, shock, etc.
The Commercial IoT Gateway (LEC-7242 and LEC-7230).
The LEC-7242 and LEC-7230 are two examples of commercial IoT getaways with rich I/O and wireless support. The LEC-7242 appliance is designed for either IoT or IIoT edge, which is an excellent solution for commercial, enterprise, and public sector applications. Although the LEC-7242 is not certified with rugged standards, it is still perfect for specific industrial environments. The LEC-7230 is another example of a commercial IoT gateway used in commercial and industrial scenarios. The appliance is ideal for imaging workflows, digital signage, interactive visual clients, and industrial control systems.
The Industrial IoT Gateway (LEC-6041 and ISD-O370)
LEC-6041 and ISD-O370 are two industrial IoT gateways that can operate in wide temperatures; both have outstanding wireless support, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports for power efficiency, and a high-performance processor for industrial edge applications. The Lanner LEC-6041 is perfect for protecting communication between IT and OT domains. The ISD-O730 is the ideal fit for the most demanding and extreme conditions; it has comprehensive certifications and broad wireless support.