IoT

What is the Internet of Things?

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The “Internet Of Things” is the existence of uniquely identifiable devices interconnected via the Internet. The interconnection of these devices is expected to introduce automation in nearly all fields from medicine to your own home.

There is a lot of hype about IoT, and we are at the point of wondering what it will mean for us as individuals, employees, and businesses.

The IoT will change our lives.

One example could be that your toothbrush might have a chip in it and via Bluetooth will communicate with your mobile device to tell you stuff like how long it has been since you started using it or in the case of the kids' tooth brushes, have they been used recently? Technological advances like these have people wondering, is that too invasive? We will be faced with all sorts of questions about what we do and don’t want connected to the internet.

Wearable technology is already beginning to monitor health vitals and offer connected watches that monitor or report on our movements or calories burnt. One day your refrigerator could know what is inside it and your trash can knows what you threw out. Those will work together so the shopping list on your connected fridge door can ask you to confirm the online order for replacing everything you have consumed this week for delivery tomorrow.

IoT will have very practical uses across our infrastructure as well. The ability to monitor how every piece of your internet technology is running and quickly addressing problems will be vital or businesses in the long run. The Internet of Things will also have a big impact on things like street lights and traffic lights. These will soon have sensors, so those in charge of maintenance know where to replace a burned-out bulb. Pipes will be able to detect where a leak is occurring so that water wastage is reduced (today 30% of our water supply is currently lost to leaks). The infrastructure cost savings by this sort of technology in smart-pipes will equate to billions of dollars and save many valleys from being flooded by new dams.

There are plenty more examples of this sort of sensor information making big differences in our personal lives, and when this is tied to big data and data analytics the world will change quickly and significantly. The impact the IoT will have on businesses will be huge.

IoT will affect your business, so be prepared.

Some of the technology is here today and much of it is in development now. Large companies have embarked on ambitious big data projects, and many small-medium organizations have started collecting what data they can. This is leading to a growing need for data storage systems and analytics tools today.

If your business is not paying attention to the current changes in IoT technology and looking at what it means to your industry, whether you are in education, manufacturing, healthcare or consulting services, there are changes coming to technology and the IoT that will change the way your industry thinks and works. The IoT will allow organizations to minimize waste and overall be more efficient.

We will post more updates on how IoT is affecting local businesses, but in the meantime stay alert, not alarmed, and proactively seek out how the IoT changes in your industry.

How can we make the IoT work for you?

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Making the Internet of Things work for you

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Building Your Industrial IoT


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a broad term that tends to get wider when marketing departments use it. In general, though, it means machines talking to machines with a back-end system gathering the data from those conversations for analysis and control purposes. In the business and manufacturing worlds, IoT techniques and technologies can be the key to greater productivity and efficiency.

With the IoT, we’re headed to a world where things aren’t liable to break catastrophically- or at least we’ll have a hell of a heads up
— Scott Weiss, Venture Capitalist- Andreessen Horowitz

How to get it right

Getting it right starts with figuring out what you want from your Industrial IoT.

  • Will you be taking data from sensors so that your back-end analysis will let you begin predictive maintenance? For some companies, that alone will justify the project.
  • Will you be using the data, again coupled with your back-end servers, for command and control of equipment based on real-time data?
  • Are you going to set up a system in which your equipment is talking to itself, adjusting operations on it's own far quicker than any human operator could?

The key to a useful internet of things is knowing exactly what you want to get out of it. The answer to these basic questions will inform decisions on everything from network infrastructure to the servers required for analysis.

Servers and communications

Regardless of your other decisions, you're going to need communications and servers for analysis. Both come together at the rack where your analytics are housed.

On the communications side, this means a network that is designed for high connection and transaction counts rather than for the largest possible raw bandwidth. IoT applications tend to involve incredibly high numbers of very small transactions. It's easy to think that, for example, all gigabit Ethernet or 10 gigabit Ethernet network cards are created equal, but that is far from the case. Ask your vendor about the transaction and connection capabilities of the cards you intend to put into your IoT infrastructure.

Twin servers?

When you begin to put together the specifications for an IoT infrastructure, you'll want to look at the possibilities of twin servers for your IoT. One of the servers will be designated to receive and send IoT traffic, while the other will be the heart of the analytics process. The difference between them? Transactions.

The Industrial IoT is a classic online transaction processing (OLTP) application. The qualities needed in the storage design and overall application infrastructure are almost identical to those that would be used in a traditional centralized point-of-sale or e-commerce system. The key to acceptable performance is write speed, the ability to catch a fire-hose stream of data and write it to storage without pause or bobble.

Continuing to look back at classic processing, the analysis system is a traditional online analytical processing (OLAP) system in which data reads will be exceptional, delivering data at near-streaming speeds for accurate, timely analysis.

The Industrial IoT paired with the knowledge and experience of Current Technologies can put a mid-sized business onto a level playing field with much larger competitors. Build your infrastructure properly, and it will maximize the benefits while keeping the additional load on your IT group well in hand.

We can make the IoT work for you

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