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Data Centers Need to Make Adjustments for IoT Onslaught

October 28, 2015

Much has been made about how the Internet-of-Things will change modern life, and a fair amount of the hype is probably warranted. One certainty of IoT that doesn’t get as much play, however, is how it will affect the data center.

The Internet of Things is about data from sensors and devices of every kind, and that data must be transmitted stored and processed. This will put a big burden on the data center, and that will require adjustments along four lines, as noted in a recent Data Center Knowledge article.

First, networks will need to expand to meet the added demand. Some put the number of connected devices at 75 billion by 2020, and that’s a lot of data streams that must be supported. Data center interconnect will become critically important, and data centers will need to use the latest in optical transport to maximize the size of the “pipes” connecting data centers. Connectivity within the data center also will need to continue to advancing, and technologies such as Fiber Mountain’s Layer 1 SDN Switching technology are welcome advances.

Second, storage must continue to grow in the data center and to handle all the incoming IoT data.

“Up until now, the comparatively more predictable nature of traffic made it simpler to store data, but with data coming from smartphones, watches, cars, and countless other devices, data is exploding,” noted the Data Center Knowledge article. “Legacy storage systems are on the verge of becoming obsolete, leaving room for organizations to adopt cloud-based storage services that supported both structured and unstructured data in a highly secure manner.”

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Third, network availability needs to be especially sound. With many IoT devices sending time-critical data, latency becomes a big problem. Carrier-grade networking needs to eliminate the network connectivity concerns of data center operators and ensure mission-critical traffic if IoT is going to live up to its promise.

Finally, IoT is going to demand heightened data security within the data center. While encryption at rest already is a reality at most data centers, encryption during transit must be beefed up. There will be a lot of sensitive information coming in from IoT sensors, and this presents a lot of vectors for data hijacking. The industry will need to make sure it gets security right.

These are all manageable adjustments. But data centers will need to be prepared. IoT deluge is coming.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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