The Internet of Things (IoT) is destined to profoundly transform the data center market, its customers, suppliers, technology and patterns of sales and marketing. The research firm Gartner estimates that the IoT installation base will increase to 26 billion by 2020 and the connected devices will spread to the entire globe.
Gartner says IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services. But at the same time, IoT deployments will generate large quantities of data that need to be processed and analyzed in real time. Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centers, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges.
The IoT connect different devices online and provide a data flow between them, along with a centralized management. Moreover, these devices can be integrated into enterprise systems to provide real-time information about the location, condition and functionality, among other things.
According to Gartner, the magnitude of network connections and data companies have to deal within the IoT will drive the need for a distributed data center, a technology that has been a tendency in recent years and that management has forced many companies to centralize operations related to data centers.
The IoT threatens to generate a massive amount of data coming from sources that are distributed worldwide. Transfer all data to a single location for processing is neither technically nor economically feasible. The recent trend of centralized applications to reduce costs and increase security is incompatible with the IoT. Organizations will be required to aggregate data from multiple distributed minicentres until it can be truly transformed. The relevant data is sent to a central location where additional information is obtained processing.
Furthermore, the enormous number of devices, coupled with the sheer volume, velocity and structure of IoT data, creates challenges, particularly in the areas of security, data, storage management, servers and the data center network, as real-time business processes are at stake. Data center managers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management in these areas to be able to proactively meet the business priorities associated with IoT.
According to a recent Cisco report, IoT will generate revenues of $19 trillion dollars and will have five to ten times more impact on society than had Internet. These new architectures present a challenge for the data centers staff as they will have to control the flow of data and get it to be used as a homogeneous entity in different places. This will create major problems in regards to data governance, as companies will have to adopt a selective approach to selecting information that need to have a backup, a process that could be prohibitively expensive.
As a solution, Gartner says that data center operations and providers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management platforms that can include a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system approach of aligning IT and operational technology (OT) standards and communications protocols to be able to proactively provide the production facility to process the IoT data points based on the priorities and the business needs. Already in the data center planning phase, throughput models derived from statistical capacity management platforms or infrastructure capacity toolkits will include business applications and associated data streams. Those comprehensive scenarios will impact design and architecture changes by moving toward virtualization, as well as cloud services. This will reduce the complexity and boost on-demand capacity to deliver reliability and business continuity.