NTT Com develops Network Edge technology for connected vehicles and robots

NTT Communications (NTT Com) has announced its development of core technology for adapting edge computing, a promising technology for accelerating data processing in IoT devices, to “mobile IoT devices” such as connected vehicles and robots.

A ‘Network Edge Solution’ incorporating this core technology will be sequentially available starting in December 20222, and NTT Com is looking for customers who can physically demonstrate this solution at their business sites. It plans to boost the jobs based on feedback from clients who participated in the demo and the results of hearings on high-demand jobs. Full-scale services will be available in fiscal year 2020 as a new service to improve the performance of these mobile IoT devices.

This solution is achieved through the use of network edge technology, which enables edge computing at multiple locations near the mobile network (hereinafter referred to as “edge locations”3) for the functionality required by mobile IoT devices. For example, in a connected vehicle, the operating condition is not uniform, and when movement occurs over a wide area, a variety of data must be processed, including sensor and location information transmitted from a large number of circulating vehicles. However, this solution allows multiple edge sites to collaborate with each other to achieve mass communication and distributed processing of large amounts of data, making it possible to adapt to the connected vehicle. In addition, this solution provides individual functionality using 4 microservice architectures, allowing customers to select and use the functions they need according to their environment, such as on-premises computing or cloud computing.

The specific individual jobs are as follows:

(1) Widely distributed message queuing function

This function enables data communication in response to the start and stop of IoT devices, changes in the communication environment, and movement over a wide area. Data caching and data communication between edge locations are implemented to handle changes in the communications environment of mobile IoT devices and their movement across large areas. By temporarily holding data in cache locations and spreading data between cache locations as needed, data can be sent from nearby cache locations once mobile IoT devices are ready to receive data. This eliminates the need for the client system to manage the state of IoT devices and retransmit data according to when they start up.

(2) Sender function

This function facilitates the use of multi-cloud 6, reduces costs and improves reliability. When mobile IoT devices are directly connected to cloud services, it is necessary to configure authentication information and contacts individually for all devices in order to operate in a multi-cloud environment. By integrating cloud service integration functionality into this solution, endpoint sites can act as hubs for endpoints, enabling multiple cloud architectures with flexible data distribution. In addition, by integrating with NTT Com’s ‘Flexible InterConnect’ 7 interconnection, it is possible to connect to every cloud service in a closed area at low cost, enabling a more secure system architecture.

(3) Termination of connection and authentication function

This function provides data protection by authenticating and encrypting communications using mutual TLS8 (mTLS). IoT devices generally have difficulty authenticating clients using IDs/passwords, etc. Therefore, mTLS, which authenticates both clients and servers using certificates, is effective in protecting highly confidential data from cyberattacks such as spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks 9. In this solution, the network edge that terminates the connection to mobile IoT devices supports mTLS, making Security measures can be easily implemented.

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