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IoT/Edge Dev Survey Shows AI, Container and Linux Popularity

For the eighth year, the Eclipse Foundation has surveyed Internet of Things (IoT) and edge developers, finding that when it comes to workloads, artifacts and OS choices, artificial intelligence (AI), containers and Linux all rank highly.

While those findings are similar to the 2021 report, the 2022 report shows the popularity of all those increased year over year when measured by the percentage of respondents who listed them.

For example, AI was the most frequently selected edge computing workload in the 2022 report, listed by 38 percent of respondents, while that number was 21 percent in the 2021 report.

Top Edge Computing Workloads
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Edge Computing Workloads (source: Eclipse Foundation).

This year, container images were listed by 49 percent of respondents as the most frequently selected edge computing artifact, while that number was 30 percent last year.

Top Edge Computing Artifacts Deployed for IoT Solutions
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Edge Computing Artifacts Deployed for IoT Solutions (source: Eclipse Foundation).

And Linux is still the most widely used OS for constrained devices (and for IoT gateways/edge), listed by 43 percent of respondents, while that number was 31 percent last year.

Top Operating System for Constrained Devices
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Operating System for Constrained Devices (source: Eclipse Foundation).

Here's a high-level look at how the key findings, as presented by the Eclipse Foundation, differed from 2021 to 2022:

2022 key findings were listed as:

  • Java, C, and C++ are the most widely used programming languages for constrained devices. Developers indicate that Java is the preferred language for IoT gateways and edge nodes.
  • MQTT continues to be the most widely used IIoT communication protocol, though there seems to be increased fragmentation. HTTP/HTTPS and REST show slight decreases in IIoT usage compared to 2021, while alternative communication protocols (TCP/IP, AMQP, in-house/proprietary) have seen noticeable growth.
  • Agriculture (23 percent) has emerged as the leading industry for IIoT and edge computing technology, followed by industrial automation (22 percent), automotive (20 percent), and energy & smart cities (17 percent).
  • Concerns around security have nearly doubled in this year's survey, making it one of the top 3 challenges developers face, along with connectivity, and data collection & analytics.
  • Edge computing is gaining traction in real world applications as top edge computing workloads all show significant increases in adoption.
  • There is increased public cloud fragmentation, and the big three are being challenged. Despite continued dominance, Amazon AWS with 36 percent usage (-8 percent in 2022), Microsoft Azure with 18 percent (-11 percent in 2022), and Google Cloud Platform with 16 percent (-4 percent in 2022) have all lost ground against a growing competitive landscape.
  • Container images (49 percent) are the most frequently selected edge computing artifact.

2021 key findings were listed as:

  • Industrial automation has displaced smart agriculture as the leading vertical industry for IoT and edge computing technologies.
  • Security (46 percent), connectivity (38 percent) and deployment (31 percent) are the top three concerns for IoT developers.
  • C and C++ are the most widely used programming languages for constrained devices. Developers prefer Python over Java for edge servers, IoT & edge gateways, and cloud platform development.
  • Artificial Intelligence (21 percent) remains the top edge computing workload, unchanged from 2020. However, the number of workloads diversified significantly.
  • The IoT middleware market is dominated by AWS IoT (37 percent), Microsoft Azure IoT (27 percent), and Google Cloud IoT Platform (22 percent).
  • Message Broker-MQTT (44 percent) is the top technology used in messaging infrastructure.

This year's IoT & Edge Developer Survey Report is based on an online survey that from April 1, 2022, to June 15, 2022, polled 910 global developers, committers, architects and decision-makers from a broad set of industries and organizations.

"IoT and edge computing are arguably the most important technologies today, particularly for industries like industrial automation, agriculture, and automotive," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, in an Oct. 4 news release. "The insights detailed in this survey report can help guide internal developer teams and technology decision-makers as they seek to bring the Industrial IoT to life."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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