Science fiction? Well, no. All this and much more is feasible today. Internet-enabled white goods and wine coolers, remotely controlled lighting systems, alarms controlled from the internet, health reading devices and so on are all available today. Bringing them all together in a connected world is not the stuff of the future. It is in the here-and-now.
The Internet of Things is THE most exciting trend in the world can affect our daily lives. The trend is termed The Internet of Things (IoT) and it will affect every single human on the planet in time. It will allow connected cities, connected countries, more efficient allocation of resources and fundamentally change the way we live. It may even help us save the planet. It is that fundamental. And, according to one thought leader, 2014 will be the tipping point.
The market impact from the IoT is mind-boggling. Gartner believes that in just 6 short years the economic value-add from internet-enabling devices and delivering a connected world will amount to nearly $2 Trillion.
As it gains momentum the IoT is going to drive a tsunami of data. The growth in data that we have been experiencing in the last decade has largely been fueled by social media and unstructured content, with the proportion of enterprise data growth being relatively limited.
If businesses and governments are already struggling to keep up with data growth, and balancing the opportunities afforded with various cloud architectures, imagine what it is going to be like in 5 years’ time when they’ll be 500 billion connected devices all generating data! Some of this data will be ephemeral of course, but most will need storing, managing and mining.
In the last few years’ data storage as a topic has moved from an IT budget line item into a potential strategic enabler of growth. The CIO is keenly aware of this. However, as the tsunami of data hits, every C-suiter is going to need to understand this. NetApp has long been at the forefront of data storage efficiency technologies (such as snapshotting, de-duplication, compression and thin provisioning) and these will remain the foundation in this new world of IoT. There is no other way to address the need to store the quantity at an affordable cost. But it will also need highly sophisticated data analytics engines and mining applications. SAP Hana, Hadoop, MapR are just the tip of the iceberg. Making these apps effective requires a robust, highly scalable and performant underlying data management platform which can span private, public and hybrid clouds flexibly and transparently. The #1 storage operating system, Data ONTAP has been designed with these goals in mind from day 1. As every Sunday School attendee knows – the wise man built his house upon a rock, and as a every grown up CEO will get to know – the wise CIO builds his data center on a rock-solid data management platform.
50 years ago this week Isaac Asimov presented his vision of what the world might be like in 2014. Back in 1964 he outlined his predictions in an article for the New York Times. Asimov was a science fiction author and chemist, and although I don’t suppose anyone would have understood the term back then, he could well labelled a “futurologist” in today’s parlance. He was surprisingly accurate in those predictions. In some of them he was half-right and obviously he missed some completely, but in the main, he called a lot right. He may not have got the terminology completely correct but he essentially predicted the ubiquity of smart phones, the fledgling nature of robotics, the role of nuclear power and the advances in 3-D technology amongst many others. He predicted a world of wireless devices. By that he meant they would not use a conventional electrical cord and get power from a grid, but actually be powered by nuclear-charged long-lived batteries. Well he got those details a little wrong, but a world of internet-enabled wireless connected devices is precisely what we are talking about with the IoT. Read his predictions here. Given the rate of change in technology in the last decade, it would be pretty challenging to try and predict what the world might be like in 2064, so hats off to Asimov for his perspicuity.