You’ve heard a lot about the Internet of Things and how mountains of data will soon overwhelm your servers, networks, and data centers. Numbers like 50 billion+ connected devices have been thrown around, causing many to wonder how all these devices with all their data will be accommodated once connected to the Internet. Like road construction of our freeways, bridges and toll ways, we will no doubt need to add more “lanes” of capacity to our data centers as more data crosses the network each year. The tsunami of data, with all these new connected devices, is no doubt coming. Data centers will be called upon to increase their capacity by increasing data pipes and the density of servers to make greater use of existing resources. They will also need to become more efficient and autonomous to maintain a high standard of reliability and uptime. Servers and routers will need to be more carefully monitored for available space and capacity. Capacity planning tools, inventory management systems, and electronically enabled power and cooling systems will all need to be optimized or upgraded to achieve higher output and efficiencies.
Why More Data Now?
Electronic and physical devices are now capable of generating massive amounts of information, quickly. This data may be critical in life-saving situations such as medical equipment in a hospital or military devices and applications on a battlefield. Data has become the lifeblood of modern society. It is an inescapable reality of the connected world that we live in. Data also comes from everyday “things.” Many consumer devices such as appliances, wearables, and automobiles generate all kinds of data including status, warnings, sensors, fitness data and on and on. Consumer data can be combined to provide peer feedback, analyze buying patterns or deliver a better shopping experience. The application of data analytics is limitless.
The ability to quickly analyze data is also another key reason why data has become so much more useful in recent years. Software applications (databases, data analytics, etc.) are now capable of powerful mining results from once dormant data. They can spot trends, identify shortages and help manage inventory and capacity. The surge in devices capable of generating data along with software that can analyze it is creating the massive uptick in connected devices. We are just scratching the surface when it comes to applying data to every aspect of our lives.
The Internet of Things
The expansion of broadband connectivity over the past five years has enabled millions of devices to communicate data more easily and more frequently across the Internet. When we think of the Internet of Things, we think of automobiles communicating with satellites or smartphones running a health app or any other consumer device that is communicating across the Internet. The combination of fast data pipes with data-enabled devices, coupled with the ability to analyze data quickly is the catalyst for this massive revolution in computing.