IoT: How Ready Is Your Infrastructure?

The Internet of Things will bring a plethora of new devices online, but next-generation technologies can help you prepare for the influx.

Bill Kleyman

June 26, 2014

3 Min Read
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The concept behind the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming very interesting. As we become ever more interconnected, the prospect of entirely new types of devices coming online is a very real possibility. The evolving cloud platform must continue to support a growing type of architecture where a number of commodity items such as houses, refrigerators, recycling bins, and cars will begin to communicate with the cloud.

The idea is to interconnect these end-points to create a powerful infrastructure based on efficiency, automation, and the capability to scale. While there’s no stopping the evolution of the cloud, there's also no slowdown in sight for the growing number of devices that are coming online. So what can you do to stay prepared? Here are some next-generation technologies that can help:

  • Software-defined everything. Software-defined technologies are very real and are making a very real impact. Storage, network, compute, and even the entire datacenter can be abstracted into the logical layer. All of this translates into better control mechanisms and resource delivery options. When it comes to IoT, our ability to interconnect a variety of devices using one common logical platform will be further simplified.

  • Making fog a reality. Fog, or edge-based computing, allows us to deliver data to smaller datacenters and bring it all much closer to the user. Many organizations are distributing their environments to bring applications, workloads, and critical datasets closer to the user. Micro-clouds and fog environments allow organizations to replicate only what is needed and enhance overall device and application performance. This is really great for a distributed user base and big-data management.

  • Logical optimizations. Yes, you can buy a new piece of hardware to help your server run better, but do you need to? Powerful caching mechanisms, software-based WAN optimizations, and even client-less computing are all making an impact around the modern cloud. New delivery mechanisms now allow an organization to deliver apps and desktops completely through a browser -- pretty amazing stuff! What does that mean for IoT? Clientless computing can bring rich data and application experiences to pretty much any end point. For example, Tesla already supports HTML5 on its center console. Soon, these kinds of capabilities will expand to even more interconnected IoT end points.  

  • Learning to scale and automate your cloud. As more devices come online, you’ll need a way to dynamically scale and control resources. To really enhance your infrastructure, look for ways to dynamically provision and de-provision resources. Automated scale solutions spanning private, public, hybrid, and even community cloud models exist today. You don’t have to keep everything in that private datacenter any more.

As your cloud and datacenter models continue to change, keep an eye on your business goals and organizational direction. A lot of new technologies are being driven by end-users. How well can you optimize their experience? How well can you deliver rich content to them? How interconnected can you keep your business? The future business model will revolve around empowering the end-user and incorporating IoT solutions. As the world gets even smaller and more interconnected, how well can you keep up?

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions, Switch; Writer/Speaker

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