Networks Europe Issue 6 November/December 2016 - Page 14

14 INTERNET OF THINGS IT Infrastructure and the IoT By Marcio Saito, CTO, Opengear How centralised should IoT infrastructure be? Do we funnel and transport all data to the core, or deploy components to aggregate it closer to the edge? Marcio Saito considers the options… “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” Bill Gates The Internet of Things (IoT) is a set of technologies that allows intelligence, sensors and actuators embedded in physical devices to internetwork to collect and exchange data. As computer technology miniaturises, we can envision a world where the objects around us are intelligent and connected, transforming how we interact with information and technology. The implication for the IT infrastructure behind the IoT is the possibility of a large volume of data to be transmitted, sorted, stored and analysed. There’s ongoing discussion on how centralised that infrastructure should be. The IoT hype cycle IoT is a transformational wave that has been in movement for a few years, and will cause ripple effects for decades. As the quote topping this article suggests, experts and users alike have a hard time evaluating the impact of such large shifts in technology. We tend to overestimate the change that occurs in the short term – we get excited too early – and then, when the hype subsides, we underestimate the eventual effects of new technology – we get frustrated, dismiss the trend as a fad and fail to benefit from it. Being able to see through the hype cycle, and position correctly, is what separates those who are going to be successful from those who are going to fail. Early IoT adoption in enterprise While IoT technology has been evolving for several years, we’re still in the early stages of adoption by the enterprise. Most use cases involve the leverage of mobile/wireless technologies, but still lack the large number of edge devices anticipated in most IoT predictions.