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Designing for a data-driven world

How to Manage the Explosion of IoT Data

The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved quite rapidly, especially if you consider how long it took for little packet-switching networks like ARPANET to morph into today's nearly ubiquitous internet. Our nascent IoT ecosystem is already populated by billions of sensors and connected devices, hundreds of millions of servers, and thousands of hybrid clouds serving billions of people... all of them perpetually producing and/or consuming data in an explosion of information.

This evolution has given rise to entirely new user interfaces influenced by models geared to augment reality and create frictionless human experiences with devices and applications. We now have an expectation of interactive immediacy with technology that is rapidly becoming second nature and represents a big, generational paradigm shift. What we think of as a computer is changing, as is the way we engage our technology.

Consider your laptop or smartphone and all the many applications you use both personally and professionally, along with the many sites and services and sensors that power those applications. Then think of a similar set of apps for a business unit, then a company, then a conglomerate. Add to those all the connected technologies that seem to have grown commonplace overnight:

  • GPS trackers for cars and commercial fleet management
  • LiDAR-dependent vehicle safety and traffic management systems
  • Energy usage monitoring systems and air quality sensors measuring on a room-by-room or city-by-city basis
  • Smart outlets that enable remote appliance or equipment control
  • Connected HVAC systems, security systems, and appliances that don't require smart outlets to permit remote user control
  • Drones deployed by hobbyists, businesses, news organizations, governments, and armies
  • Inexpensive speakers equipped with natural-language processing engines and reimagined as digital personal assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home)
  • Smart routers and gateways increasing geared to take on management of other connected or smart devices and services.

The list could run on through hundreds if not thousands of use cases. All of these devices and sensors and applications and their various modes of connectivity surround us - with more coming online every day - collectively creating astronomical volumes of data. IDC estimates that by 2020, the data we create and copy annually will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes.

This crush of computing things facilitates our augmented capabilities and new user experiences because the technology that makes them possible (machine learning and advanced analytics and all that now broadly falls under the "AI" banner) requires massive amounts of data to work properly.

Therein lies the problem. The explosion of "things" makes understanding what needs to connect to what challenging. As noted in Forrester's 2016 Internet of Things Heat Map, "Because of the enormous range of sensors, customer scenarios, and business cases, the technologies for IoT sensor devices, radios, network protocols, software protocols, and data formats are very diverse. There is nothing like the market norms and industry standards of data center, PC, or mobile device technology." Bandwidth is also a concern. Cisco estimates that global machine-to-machine connections alone will grow to 12.2 billion by 2020 and that global M2M IP traffic will grow six-fold over this same period. Managing that enormous flow of data - wrangling, cleaning, culling, transporting, storing, exchanging, integrating - is tremendously complicated and expensive in terms of both time and money.

Until now, IoT implementations have relied almost exclusively on the cloud and large data centers for compute power, bound by bandwidth availability. But that ephemeral model just can't continue to hold up under the data-deluged weight of our new reality. What to do?

The solution for information technology architectures is the same as it is for architecting physical buildings of might and scale: We must distribute the structural load.

In the case of IoT, the new blueprint involves shifting a great deal of computation to the "edge" - out to the local gateways and devices themselves (as opposed to having to transport everything to the cloud). Edge microservices and tiny AI engines can now handle application logic, event processing, and integration duties reliably in real time at the router level (often even at the sensor level), then transmit only essential details to the cloud. This is a better fit for emerging IoT use cases. For example, if an autonomous car has to react in a second, its software can't take three seconds to start up. Aside from reducing latency and enabling real-time responsiveness in devices, edge-based microservices also reduce bandwidth blockage and overall expense because fewer, coarser data packets need to travel to and from the cloud. That expense reduction is impressive: Researcher and Wikibon cofounder David Floyer ran an analysis that showed the costs to be about 1/3 of a cloud-only approach. And security implementation also incurs edge benefits. As Paul Stevens of mission-critical telecom hardware firm Advantech, explained in Senza Fili Consulting's 2017 Power at the Edge Report, virtual functions can now be run either on devices that are at the edge of the network or up in the cloud. "The security gateway function... is evolving, especially with densification," he said, "We're finding that it's better adapted to aggregation points at the edge, which secure data as it hits the network instead of placing gateways in the core." InterDigital's Debashish Purkayastha echoed this logic in the same report, "As personal data traverses the internet, it is vulnerable to being stolen. With edge computing, we can process data at the edge, so we can keep [sensitive] data in a local context. We don't let it go outside the local context, into the internet."

The cloud is still an essential tool, but with this edge-computing shift, a new model emerges where constant cloud connectivity is not essential. Most data will be digested at or near its point of origin. Things that require real-time response (as in an autonomous vehicle approaching a red light) will be handled on-site in the moment (in that individual car). Things that require global distribution on an intermittent basis (as with system updates and upgrades to an entire line of autonomous vehicles) can be optimized, managed, and dispersed via the cloud. The cloud's role then becomes synergistic as opposed to directive: Its economy of scale can be directed to build and refine machine learning models on massive data sets, thereby further augmenting intelligence, which can further be acted on at the edge.

This expansion of compute capability at the source of interface with the physical world represents a natural next-step toward IoT maturity, and delivers a strategy for best utilizing our technology in an increasingly data-driven world.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. Enterprise Cloud | Cloud-Native
Track 2.
Big Data | Analytics
Track 3. Internet of Things | IIoT | Smart Cities

Track 4. DevOps | Digital Transformation (DX)

Track 5. APIs | Cloud Security | Mobility

Track 6.
AI | ML | DL | Cognitive
Track 7.
Containers | Microservices | Serverless
Track 8. FinTech | InsurTech | Token Economy

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.  

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi

With a decade of experience in enterprise middleware, Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi is Vice President of Product Management & Strategy at TIBCO. He studied computer science at the University of Kerala and engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Outside work, he is learning the ropes as a new dad and in his spare time, rigging up an Arduino bot that out-maneuvers toddlers.

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