IoT roundup: Content delivery networks make a play for IoT business

Akamai and Limelight ramp up edge networking; Splunk gets into industrial IoT management and monitoring.

It’s a measure of how big and meaningful a particular technology trend is when big companies that weren’t necessarily in on the ground floor start making a major push for relevance in the market. A couple years ago, every tech company in the world couldn’t wait to tell you about how into the cloud they were, and the same thing is happening to IoT. The pivots, they are a-comin’.

This month, some of the heavy hitters moving to make themselves more appealing to the burgeoning IoT market are content delivery networks (CDN) like Akamai and Limelight, both of which were eager to trumpet their edge credentials.

It’s an interesting fit for edge compute and IoT. The growing trend towards putting computing resources closer to where they’re being used, as opposed to somewhere in a distant cloud, makes sense, given that part of the allure of CDNs is to stage in-demand content close to the user.

Using the computing resources themselves doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. And given current IoT growth rates, the fact that CDNs have a ton of those resources available should stand them in good stead.

Splunk hopes it's got a slam-dunk

Data analytics firm Splunk thinks it's on its way to IoT prominence with its announcement of upcoming general availability for its industrial IoT monitoring and management platform.

The main idea, as with most current-generation IIoT products, is to help businesses make sense of enormous amounts of complex but interrelated industrial data. The company's Splunk for Industrial IoT platform provides a simplified, intuitive overview of various data flows produced by industrial machines. Splunk's machine-learning secret sauce targets both security, by looking for anomalous device behavior or data flows, and predictive maintenance, crunching large amounts of information to predict failures.

The offering goes on sale to the public at large October 30.

Doing the numbers

There's no shortage of lurid predictions about the eventual size of the connected device market, and Forrester Research's latest numbers about IoT are no exception - by 2023, predicts the well-regarded Cambridge, MA-based firm, companies will spend nearly $435 billion on designing, building and operating IoT solutions.

That figure, up from just over $186 billion in 2017, covers IoT-specific software, connectivity with mobile data providers, hardware devices and service costs. Forrester said that supply chain and inventory management will be the biggest growth area over the next couple of years, growing at a compounded annual rate of 20.2%, for a total market size of $113.5 billion, but smart buildings and fleet management won't be far behind, growing at CAGRs of 12.4% and 8.4%.

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