behind the scenes

the Peakboard Box – small but mighty.

Carla Märkl

Carla Märkl

It’s actually quite simple: The Peakboard Designer is there for dashboard creation and data source connection – and the Peakboard Box for real-time visualization of the created dashboard on a monitor. A well-thought-out combination of software and hardware that covers the entire process of data collection, preparation, networking, and visualization, thus saving a lot of time and nerves. With Peakboard, the time-consuming programming of in-house solutions for the visualization and communication of data at the destination is a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, many people ask us if our Peakboard solution would also work without hardware. Why do we need the hardware, our Peakboard Box, at all?

whether monitor, display or touchscreen.

Generally speaking, if you want to display something on a monitor, you need hardware to do so. This hardware can either be part of the monitor or be connected externally. For example, if you want to stream one of the approximately 2,600 movies on Netflix into your living room, you either use a smart TV that already has the hardware integrated, or a Chromecast or Fire TV Stick that functions as external hardware. The same basically applies to any kind of visualization on a screen.

without Peakboard, how would the dashboard end up on the screen?

The first option is a specially programmed IT solution, for example in the form of an application for the Raspberry Pi or Chromecast. In this case, the software takes over all the tasks that Peakboard would take care of. However, this requires the software to be programmed first…
The second option is to create a website that is displayed on the Raspberry Pi or Chromecast. The website can be a BI tool like Power BI or Tableau or a self-developed web application. In this case, a webserver runs in the background, which is called up and displayed on the screen via a browser.

so why do we need Peakboard?

Instead of opting for a classic server/client architecture, we decided to take a different route: that of edge computing, in which the data is processed decentrally, at the “edge of the network” so to speak, precisely on a box. Not the conventional way. But what are the advantages here?

To start your project, you need nothing more in terms of architecture than a Peakboard Box, through which the dashboard created in the Peakboard Designer is visualized. The Peakboard Box, which is equipped with a powerful processor, is connected to the network on the one hand and to the screen on the other. It thus takes over the process from collecting the data to data visualization.
At the same time, it is autonomously responsible for communication with the source systems – without a central server or other middleware, but with maximum flexibility.

Production networks are often kept very restrictive. Setting up a web server for a data communication solution only works in rare cases, if at all. For using Peakboard, this is not necessary.

Each Peakboard Box works completely autonomously. For each Peakboard Box, individual security guidelines can be defined, e.g. with regard to firewall or access rights. For example, a Peakboard Box on a production line can access completely different or fewer data sources than the Peakboard Box used to visualize a digital bulletin board. In a server/client architecture, two web servers would be required for a clear separation in the example.

Communication from Peakboard Box to Peakboard Box or from Peakboard Box to, for example, a sensor via Peakboard Edge takes place directly and without going through a server.

The focus is solely on the Peakboard box, whereas with a classic server/client architecture you have to take care of both the server and the client.

If the server fails, numerous processes are stopped, too. If, on the other hand, a Peakboard Box fails, it only affects the connected monitor. In this case, only the affected Peakboard Box has to be replaced. Other Peakboard Boxes installed in the company are not affected.

This makes the Peakboard Box the ideal hardware for displaying dashboards in production and logistics, as it solves the user’s “hardware problem” simply and conveniently. 

Are you interested in the technical details or the prices of the different 
Peakboard Box models? Find out more on our website!

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