IoT Drives Infinite Demand for Compute, Network, and Storage
For close to two decades I have been forecasting an “infinite demand for bandwidth.” Sadly, my forecasts are wrong: there is more than an infinite demand (if that’s possible) considering the explosive growth in mobile data, video streaming, cloud computing, as well as data center transfers and storage as more enterprises collocate, virtualize their data centers, or migrate to cloud storage. And all of this will pale in comparison to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The full power of IoT is on display here at the Amazon re:Invent conference. Everything from smart farms to industrial paper companies to fleet management solutions is benefiting from IoT and the universe of new data coming from a host of new interconnected devices, machines, sensors, and applications.
BI Intelligence estimates that 24 billion IoT devices will be installed by 2020. Cisco predicted 50 billion back in 2011. Whichever number you choose, that’s a lot of new devices generating an insane amount of data.
Do we need more bandwidth, compute power, or storage?
Moore’s Law has provided exponential leaps in computer processing speed and power. In a little more than a decade, we’ve seen network capacity grow from dial-up wireline to gigabit wireless. There’s no doubt that we will continue to have the processing power we need to drive IoT analytics, and the network bandwidth required to move all this IoT data around. Where we will have a problem is with storage. Where are we going to store all this data in a way that is both instantly accessible, yet somehow affordable?
Will data stay at the edge?
The “edge versus cloud” argument is interesting and ongoing. Today on a financial television channel, the CEO of a leading tech company said that “there is more data in the edge than will ever be in the cloud.” Indeed, that is profound. Certainly, there are thousands of use cases where data should or must be processed in real time, locally. But extracting business insights from IoT data also requires context. Temperature changes, humidity, time of year, time of day, the amount of time transpired–all potentially impact your operations, and what your data is really telling you. Predicting when a critical component on a factory floor or oil rig should be replaced does not require real-time data but trending analysis of multiple datasets over time.
All that data needs to be stored somewhere
In addition to IoT, technology advancements in every field are adding to this data deluge, from internet-enabled surveillance cameras with facial recognition and image searches, to 3D medical imaging and virtual and augmented reality.
Everything leads to more data. There will continue to be an infinite demand for faster, less expensive ways to process it, move it, and to store it.
Fortunately, along with all these technology breakthroughs, there’s a new generation of cloud storage from Wasabi called hot storage, which was recently featured in a Forbes article on low cost digital storage options. Exponentially faster than the fastest cloud storage on the market today, yet less expensive than the cheapest cold storage tiers, hot storage will be well suited to meet the infinite storage needs of IoT or any data storage-intensive environments.