The Internet of Things (IoT) is an interconnected network of physical devices. Every device in the IoT is capable of collecting and transferring data through the network. The Global Standard Initiative (GSI), which focuses on facilitating coordinated work of a specific study group, defines IoT as “the infrastructure of information society”. Each of the devices in the IoT network have unique, distinct IP addresses using which they constantly transmit data, generating huge amounts of data.
IoT and Data Overflow
This data explosion is a natural fallout of the IoT. Business Insider forecasts that there will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. Of this, 24 billion will be IoT devices and 10 billion will be traditional computing devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart watches. Imagine now the amount of data that will be generated from the billions of interconnected devices every day, every minute…
But where exactly can we see the IoT in action?
Everywhere. IoT is set to touch every aspect of every person’s life. It will impact the way we live – from the food we eat, the way we commute, how we use our devices, how we interact with others, to our health, our well-being…. IoT can be used in applications related to connected or smart homes, in embedded devices and wearables, in smart city management, in healthcare, agriculture, transportation, industrial automation, energy management and even in retail industry.
IoT has already made inroads into our lives. For instance –
Homes: Remote enabled door locks, smart refrigerators, indoor temperature control, air quality monitoring systems are examples of IoT already in use. With the rapid changes in technology, we expect to see a lot more to come in the near future.
Transportation: Recently companies like BMW and GM teamed up with telecommunication experts, AT&T to enable Long Term Evolution (LTE). LTE is 4G wireless broadband technology which is the benchmark for high speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals. LTE enabled cars promises to revolutionize driving by providing key and relevant information in real time; from realtime traffic updates that will let one analyze the route of his travel before he starts, to vehicle diagnosis and more.
Health: Healthcare sector is expected to get fully digitalized in near future. Wearable tech such as wristbands and wristwatches that record and monitor personal data on the individual’s day-to-day fitness activity, are already in the market. IoT devices would help track fitness and overall wellness and allow medical professionals to maintain a closer watch on patient behaviour and get alerts on deviations instantly.
IpV6 : Role in IoT
Critical to the IoT is the IpV6 or Internet protocol Version 6 . This version of IP provides location and identification of each computer and network across the internet. Since IoT requires the involvement of the interconnected devices to support the performance of the processes and services, IPV6 acts as a key communication enabler and the backbone for the IoT.
IoT and Data Storage Challenges
A Cisco report states that the Internet of Things will generate a staggering 400 zettabytes (ZB) of data a year by 2018. The data generated, comes in two distinct types. First, the large-file data, like images and videos that are captured from smartphones and other devices. This type of data is accessed sequentially (numerical or alphabetical order). Second type of data are the one which are very small, like, log-file data captured from sensors. These are small in size and can create billions of files that can be randomly accessed.
Historically Data Centers could store only one of these kinds of data. The challenge now is to enable storage of both types of data. Additionally with analytics becoming crucial, another issue is saving the data to allow faster analytics. A third issue is the question of security. Given this challenge solid state storage alone is not adequate; the solution to storage challenges lies in virtualization and cloud. In fact, in future, it is tools such as VMWare vCenter Log Insight that aggregate log and event data for analysis that will hold the key to IoT data management.