For decades now, we have used technology to bring people closer together. Whether it is governments to their constituents, businesses to their customers, or clinicians to patients; technology has been the binding force. The market has engineered products and solutions to enable these associations, and we have architected and built our networks and systems around this principle.
However there is a change coming that will see many of these principles made redundant, to be replaced with new solutions to solve new challenges. This has been born from the rise of the machines, where instead of just connecting people, machines are now bridging to other machines. And where limitations existed on the number of people that could be connected, there is no upper limit to how many machines can be linked.
“The Internet of Things is an all-pervasive force that is acting on the market at the moment,” says Matt Oostveen, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific & Japan, VCE, the EMC Converged Platforms Division of EMC. “CIOs are cognisant of this, but need to prepare their organisations both structurally and technologically to capture the opportunity and meet rising customer and organisational demand.”
Sensors, drones, robots and more will be joining to our networks, each producing data, whether small or large. As each year passes, IoT adoption accelerates, with billions of Internet-connected devices collecting and transmitting data every second, increasing the risks around scale, storage and security, and throwing the corporate data centre into disarray. This necessitates a change in our datacentre strategy.
“In the last few years there has been growth in information being put into public clouds, but embracing the public cloud as an absolute strategy won’t be feasible in future,” Oostveen remarks. This concept was called out by IDC in their annual predictions where the research firm stated that by 2018 IoT will push 30% of IT assets to edge locations and micro-data centres.
Server, storage and network capacity must be fully flexible, scalable, and able to seamlessly interconnect with multiple pools of resources. And it also must be fast and efficient embracing all the characteristics of the modern data centre where resources are software defined, utilising flash technology, built on the principles of the cloud, and capable of scaling-out to massive capacities.
A cornerstone of the modern data centre is converged infrastructure – a technology that integrates improved computing, storage and networking resources within one pre-tested bundle to better support IT operations. Growing demands for more sophisticated technology deployments have fuelled growth in the converged infrastructures market, and Gartner forecasts spending on converged systems to increase at 19 per cent year-on-year, to reach $20.4b by 2019, representing nearly a quarter (22.6%) of data centre investments by that time.
Leading converged infrastructure designs can be factory optimised for big data and IoT, with the ability to handle both structured and unstructured data and support big data applications designed to collect, store and analyse those large data streams that don’t play well in traditional data warehouses.
“Pre-integrated and pre-validated VCE Vblock Systems from EMC can simplify and optimise provisioning, deployment, and management of big data and analytics workloads through multi-tenancy, virtualisation, data protection, mission-critical availability, and performance,” explains Oostveen.
Using the increased computing power of VCE converged infrastructure, the data collected by IoT devices can be processed at the source, drastically cutting the costs, hardware and manpower otherwise needed for data to be shipped back to the warehouse for analysis, while also reducing the chances of a breach. Regulated organisations can use converged infrastructure to manage and analyse sensitive customer information that must be kept within local data centres, while other enterprises can use converged infrastructure as part of native cloud or hybrid-cloud environments.
These enhancements affect more than just your company’s bottom line, with the flow-on effects providing benefits to customer experience and overall economy. This is evident in the implementation of a Vblock System and Isilon by the Melbourne airport, to better support 14,000 employees (and growing) operating 24/7, with an anticipated 63 million customers annually by 2033.
New converged infrastructure drove automation in airport facilities, high availability of key applications, and fully managed data recovery systems, laying the foundation for future business innovation and continued support for passengers and the overall region.
“Converged infrastructure is perfect for business customers embracing IoT,” says Oostveen. “Especially where large volumes of data are being generated at the network edge necessitating de-centralised processing of data, while simultaneously connecting to centralised control planes.”
EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.