MIT researcher and entrepreneur Kevin Ashton first coined the
term “Internet of Things”
(IoT)in 1999 while working at Auto-ID Labs. Ashton was referring to a
global network of objects connected by radio-frequency identification (RFID). Nearly two decades later, perhaps
it’s time to evaluate if IoT really captures what’s happening. Should we
re-name IoT to something like “Internet
Consider this: Internet for People gathers the necessary data to make the world’s
population more safe and productive, while hopefully enabling medical
advancements to help people live with more dignity. We’re also seeing
investments on using the Internet for People to make our home here on earth a
more environmentally-safe place to live.
Those are fairly large asks, and the industry is indeed
starting to accommodate. For example, IBM announced last year that it would
invest $3 billion into a new IoT unit. Intel has begun breaking out revenue
and profit for its IoT group, and IDC estimates the worldwide market for IoT
solutions is expected to reach $7.1 trillion (yes, trillion) by 2020.
Without a doubt, the continued exponential growth of the IoT
market looms like a giant tidal wave. Yet, little
is being done to address the critical infrastructure to support this
explosion of data coming our way within the next 10 years. Sensing the
opportunity, many CEOs and CIOs are already making or planning to make their
infrastructure investments in the near future to get a head start on their
Data center analysts agree that the IoT will be the
main impetus for continuing the current data center explosion happening globally.
However, it’s generally agreed that today’s massive data center complexes (200
megawatts) being built will slow down, while smaller, more agile, edge data
centers will grow significantly. The primary driver for this will be to locate the data center closer to consumers at
the IoT workloads. Some have even called these edge units “data aggregation
units” instead of data centers.
One would assume that buildings of large, global technology
companies and their massive data centers have a plan to use them to support
their aggressive edge deployments
and the gathering of massive amounts of data – a hub and spoke data center topology.
In the end, is it really an IoT or an Internet for People?
Either way, is your infrastructure ready for the data wave?