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InfluxData introduces new edge data replication capability

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InfluxData introduces new edge data replication capability

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Edge computing is a term that has steadily gained prominence. It refers to a distributed framework where data processing is done close to the source of the data, rather than centrally in the cloud or private datacenter. The rise of edge computing comes with its possibilities and challenges. One of the latter is the need for a way to replicate data between the edge and the cloud, in real-time, so that information stays the same across all resources.

This is exactly what time-series database platform provider InfluxData has addressed with its recently announced Edge Data Replication feature, a new built-in capability of its flagship InfluxDB platform that provides synchronous replication of data between devices at the edge and datacenters in the cloud. The company says the availability of the new feature marks a key step for InfluxData’s goal of helping to solve the challenges of its customers using InfluxDB at the edge.

Edge computing’s paradigm shift

It’s worth taking a quick step back for a further discussion of both edge computing and its real-world scenarios. Edge computing represents a paradigm shift from the centralized model of the cloud to a more distributed one. This model is designed to reduce the latency resulting from transmitting data to the cloud, to increase bandwidth by only transmitting preprocessed data, and to prioritize agility.

In edge computing, data processing and decision-making shifts from the cloud to an endpoint device (“edge” device). The edge device performs data processing in place (“at the edge”), and the processed data is transmitted back to the cloud for storage and analysis. It’s important to note that the cloud remains important in this paradigm for storage and as a place where machine learning occurs on the pre-processed data.

As Rick Spencer, vice president of product at InfluxData, explains, “The edge environment keeps very granular data for local detailed analysis… but also sends data to the cloud, so analysts have a more accurate picture of what happened at the distributed locations.”

Out and about

What does edge computing look like in the real world?

“Every industry has its edge – the retail store has its point of sales systems, the bank has its ATMs, and even traditional offices have their desktops and remote workers’ laptops,” Spencer said.

He highlighted three specific examples in more detail: industrial machinery used in manufacturing, wind turbines in the energy industry, and high-frequency trading in the financial services industry.

In manufacturing, data is generated on the factory floor by industrial machines. Edge computing would allow the machines to process that data in place and only transmit the aggregated, transformed and/or labeled sets to the central data repository – whether cloud or private datacenter, for storage and further analysis. This allows for precision and agility at the edge and a unified view from the cloud.

In energy, wind turbines are another instance of a real-world edge scenario. Each turbine generates its own data, and there may be many turbines within a local network. As each turbine may generate thousands or millions of data samples per second, aggregating and summarizing the operational data from the group of turbines and replicating only the aggregate to the cloud optimizes operation and performance.

In financial services, high-frequency trading algorithms are deployed on devices installed physically close to the market’s servers. The data generated is then aggregated and replicated to a central repository, where AI models are trained on the aggregated data for faster time to insight.

In the cloud and at the edge

Since the cloud is still present and important for storage and analysis, one of the challenges introduced when processing significant amounts of data at the edge is the need to make sure the data across all resources – in the cloud and at the edge – remains the same.

Spencer describes the development of Edge Data Replication as stemming directly from the observation that customers already using InfluxDB at the edge were building their own makeshift solutions to this challenge, and the engineering team, therefore, “developed this functionality very much based on the needs they were seeing in their user community.”

Data replication at the edge

InfluxData’s Edge Data Replication performs synchronous replication, where data is replicated between the source and target simultaneously, and is backed with a disk-based durable queue.

As an illustration, Spencer gave the example of customers who “Run InfluxDB on ferries that are disconnected from the Internet during passages. When those ferries reach docks, they reconnect to the Internet, and the replicated data in the durable queue can then be sent along to the central cloud account.”

In-line data aggregations, transformation, and enrichment are enabled with Flux, InfluxData’s open-source data scripting and query language.

Edge Data Replication is a native capability within InfluxDB OSS version 2.2 and above. The feature does not have an added cost for users and is available out of the box.

Looking ahead

As the edge computing paradigm shift continues, real-world edge scenarios are sure to become more prevalent, and vendors paying attention to the pain points of their customers will continue to develop new and creative solutions for them. With Edge Data Replication, InfluxData has made a significant first move in addressing the importance of the Edge to its customers, identifying a hurdle and presenting its own solution.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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