The Internet of Things (IoT). Or the Internet of Everything. Or the Internet of Your Things. It all depends. Gartner called it the most hyped technology of 2014. IDC forecasts it will represent a $7.1 trillion worldwide market in 2020. Janus Bryzek (“the father of sensors”) has referred to it as, “the largest growth in the history of humans.”
The IoT is a connected world of billions of IP-enabled sensors, machines, and other non-human things. Most often, these devices communicate between themselves and with other control systems. These machine-to-machine communications don’t follow the typical unicast traffic models. Their exchanges consist of small amounts of event-driven data.
More than anything, says the report, the IoT represents an issue of scale. Connected devices, sensors, wearables, automobiles, and other non-human stuff will produce massive amounts of data. When viewed on a device-by- device basis, the volume of data produced doesn’t warrant concern. Yet, when considered in aggregate, this data poses a significant threat to our networks and the systems that monitor them.
The report asks… “How will the Internet of Things Disrupt Your Performance Monitoring Strategy?”
The IoT promises greater levels of visibility, agility, and control over personal and professional lives. It’s about connected cities and connected farms. Connected homes and connected businesses. Connected humans and even connected brains.
For example, one company has begun implanting wireless Internet- connected sensors in the ears of cattle. These sensors help farmers monitor the cattle’s health and prevent the spread of disease from contaminated meat or milk. It’s estimated that each cow transmits 200MB of data every year. That seems miniscule, but when you multiply that by the 1.5 billion cattle in the world, you get a different picture.
Taking this concept from the farm to the enterprise, where a Fortune 100 company currently tracks energy consumption in their data centers, by monitoring the IP-enabled power strips that support servers, they can detect energy inefficiencies. Every day, they collect and baseline more than 25 billion performance metrics!
According to the report, anywhere from 26 billion to 200 billion connected devices will be dropped onto our worldwide networks in the upcoming years. The installed base of active wireless connected devices alone already exceeds 16 billion. Analysts expect that number to more than double by 2020. 75% of this growth will come from non-hub devices such as sensor nodes and accessories, says the report.
Imagine a world of tens of billions of devices and sensors sending quick bursts of data across our networks at both regular and sporadic intervals. This is the IoT world. The difference between sub-minute and five minute polling cycles is akin to the difference between high definition and standard definition television. The detail you see at sub-minute levels paints a much clearer picture of what’s happening in your environment.
According to a recent study by IDC, the worldwide IoT install base will see a compound annual growth rate of 17.5 percent from 2013 to 2020. It’s not a question of if, but how soon the IoT will have a material impact on the global enterprise and service provider market, concludes the report.
To read the complete report, please visit here.
Keeping the hackers out will be a challenge. It's one thing to activate connected cameras to spy, but unlocking doors or starting the gas fireplace might prove malicious.