Internet of Things to transform the data centre

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 19 March, 2014

Internet of Things to transform the data centre

Rapid growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a potentially transformative impact on the future data centre, and will present a series of challenges for data centre operators, Gartner predicts.

The research firm estimates that by 2020, the IoT will encompass 26 billion devices, and the market will be generating revenues exceeding US$300 billion.

The proliferation of IoT devices will generate large volumes of data that will need to be processed and analysed in real time, according to Gartner research director Fabrizio Biscotti.

“Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centres, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges," Biscotti said.

The most significant potential challenges will include maintaining security and customer privacy, improving storage management to meet the demand for capacity and boosting WAN bandwidth for transfer of the data.

Gartner expects these pressures to accelerate the trend towards a distributed data centre management approach.

"The recent trend to centralise applications to reduce costs and increase security is incompatible with the IoT,” Gartner vice president Joe Skorupa said.

“Organisations will be forced to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centres where initial processing can occur. Relevant data will then be forwarded to a central site for additional processing.”

But this will require operations staff to manage the entire distributed environment as a homogeneous entity, while also developing the capacity to monitor and control individual locations.

It will also be impractical to back up all the raw data generated by the IoT, but the task of sorting through data that needs to be backed up will require its own processing, storage and networking resources.

Image courtesy of Sean Ellis under CC

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