While the internet of things (IoT) is gaining ground on many fronts — software and hardware development and growing popularity with the general consumer in the form of wearables — the behind-the-scenes development has its work cut out for itself. As more devices come to market, and more users adopt objects with web connectivity like smartwatches and other “smart” machinery, there will necessarily have to be a network to support the data communicating among these objects.
For a couple of years now, companies like Qualcomm and other tech giants including Intel and IBM have been working on creating a platform for devices in the internet of things ecosystem to seamlessly communicate to one another. Indeed, IBM reported in March that it is investing $3 billion into creating an internet of things unit, intending to build a cloud-based platform for helping clients build IoT solutions. The company says it is going to provide cloud data services and developer tools to help manufacturers create more connected devices. Qualcomm’s AllJoyn initiative has garnered some big names who are invested in establishing themselves on the forefront of the IoT movement. Clearly, the evolution of IoT is on the minds of the biggest names in tech.
But a huge question remains of how to establish a proper data-based, network support system for all of the pending objects through the next five years that will be operating across multiple platforms as part of the internet of things. In that vein, new research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) says that installed service provider data center capacity consumed by IoT workloads will increase nearly 750% between 2014 and 2019.
This is an important forecasted value for the IoT market, those companies that are working to support it, and startups that are looking to the next few years to be the barometer for the IoT industry’s growth. Rick Villars, vice president of data center and cloud at IDC commented: “Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the data center itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices.”
Here, the backend of the IoT scene comes into play, and gains a special spotlight as the expansion of data centers that are oriented to cloud-based infrastructure become the norm. Data center demand and capacity is naturally going to have to evolve with the increased adoption of wearables and smart objects — supporting such massive numbers of web-connected items will be impossible without it. So, the next step seems to be for the networking companies to ready themselves for the onslaught of devices.