Data centres must shape up to handle scale of Internet of Things
Fri 11 Apr 2014
With an estimated 26bn units with IP addresses hanging off the internet by 2020, the amazing growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) could have a “transformational effect” on data centres around the world according to leading analyst firm, Gartner.
It estimates that the IoT will produce new revenues of over $300 billion by 2020, mostly in services, driven by the huge quantities of data all the devices generate. Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner, said: “Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centres, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges.”
The IoT connects fixed remote or mobile devices – anything from cars to light bulbs – to the internet where their data is fed through to management systems for processing, interpretation and possibly response. It will need to be in real time to be effective and this places huge demands on the storage and compute capacity of data centres.
“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,” said Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
“Data centre 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.”
Those challenges include the security of the devices, and the integrity and privacy of their data, where and how that data will be stored and delivered, and the networking links required to move it around.
Skorupa said the current management structure for data centres was not compatible with what will be required and there will need to be a new architecture. “The recent trend to centralise applications to reduce costs and increase security is incompatible with the IoT. Organisations will be forced to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centres where initial processing can occur. Relevant data will then be forwarded to a central site for additional processing.”
The report: “The Impact of the Internet of Things on Data Centers” is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2672920.