January 18, 2017

The Internet of Things: How to love the one you’re with

Adam CatbaganAdam Catbagan
Sr. Systems Engineering Manager
Arrow ECS

 

As we enter 2017, I think it’s fair to say that infrastructure has never faced more change than what is currently at hand today. I’ll offer cloud as an example of this change. Its three primary consumption models—on-premises, hybrid and off-premises—each present unique opportunities and challenges for the supporting infrastructure stack. Gone are the days of relatively simple IT infrastructures that include a static server, network and storage infrastructure working together to serve and meet the needs of a relatively static application. Enter an age of SDI, DevOps, agile development strategies and, of course, IoT.

Positive Gains May Require a Little Pain

These new software-driven infrastructure models offer the promise of flexibility, leading to better utilization of compute, storage and network resources. This is a positive gain for the business, but requires that an IT team thinks, acts and operates differently. In some cases, this is a monumental task that may never be fully achieved. Nevertheless, cheers to those that dream big and have packed their suitcases to take this journey with us.

Arrow Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 3

My son and I recently purchased a couple of Raspberry Pis, a mini computer initially developed as a learning tool to promote a deeper understanding of computer science in schools and developing countries. I’m probably late to this game, but I have to say I was impressed with what this small piece of hardware is capable of, and I’m equally impressed with the support community that has been built up around this technology.

The idea of IoT seems to be everywhere these days. I can’t even walk into my local Home Depot without being exposed to it. This got me thinking about the data center, and, more specifically, about the infrastructure within the data center and its role with IoT.

IDC Worldwide Enterprise Infrastructure Predictions

IDC recently published its Worldwide Enterprise Infrastructure 2017 Predictions. In this document, they make a prediction that outlines the role of IT infrastructure in support of IoT. Here’s what they had to say: “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the world of all connected things, excluding devices carried by humans, which are rolled together with the IoT into the Internet of Everything (IoE). This represents an exciting new frontier for computing and will grow quickly toward the end of this decade. The growth of IoT-related workloads is predicted to accelerate, with over 40% of IT infrastructure spend related to IoT by 2020.”

Adam Catbagain IDC quote

So, Adam, Should I Bet the Farm on this Prediction?

Well… I’m certainly not running to the Sportbook to bet the farm, but I’d be willing to drop a few bucks to take the ride. There is truth and movement in the IoT trend. We need to pay attention to and welcome this movement regardless of the challenges it presents to our current business models. My guidance would be to ensure you have decided—or, at the very least, are thinking about—how your business will need to transform to support the emerging IoT trends. Do you have strategic plans; supplier and distribution relationships in place to support your customers’ needs around edge computing; DevOps adoption; network edge evolution (both SDN and mobile); security; and all aspects of cloud and continuance in solidifying the back-end infrastructure? That will be the cornerstone of your customers’ IoT success. Let Arrow help.