The Internet of Things (IoT) Vision

IoT222

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) can be seen from two perspectives – “Internet-centric” and “thing-centric.”

The Internet-centric architecture involves Internet services as the main focus, as data is being generated by the “things.” In the thing-centric architecture, smart devices take the center stage. Equinix is at the heart of the interconnected world of the Internet, so we’re focused on the Internet-centric view.

There are a number of factors powering the progression of the IoT within the digital economy, including:

  • Powerful new mobile, wearable or connected devices
  • Application (apps) that fuel demand for mobile data and test the limits of the network within most industry sector
  • Cloud-based apps and those that rely on content stored in the cloud, which will increase as development accelerates on new Platform-as-a-Service, mobile point of sale and independent software vendor platforms
  • New use cases, such as mobile video, which will be significant factors in driving expensive capacity upgrades in networks

Device evolution, cloud-based application innovation and the proliferation of communication technologies within all industries will ensure the exponential growth in the demand for mobile-connected devices. As a result, the expected throughput and performance of each device will continue to increase in the next decade.

The IoT challenges:

The increasing number of real-time IoT apps will stress the performance capabilities of today’s networks. To provide a high-quality user experience, we need to find ways to reduce the end-to-end latency among machine-to-machine interactions to single-digit milliseconds.

In addition to pushing the limits of the network, IoT challenges include: privacy, participatory sensing, data analytics, geographic information system-based visualization and cloud computing. Networks also face standard wireless sensor network issues, including architecture, energy-efficiency, security, protocols, and Quality of Service.

The IoT Vision:

The end goal is to have plug-n-play smart objects that can be deployed in any environment with an interoperable interconnection backbone that allows them to blend with other smart objects around them. Standardization of frequency bands and protocols plays a pivotal role in accomplishing this goal.

A roadmap of key developments in IoT research, which includes the technology drivers and key application outcomes expected in the next decade, is shown below:

IoT chart

Source: Elsevier B.V. A., 2013, Internet of Things (IoT): A vision, architectural elements, and future directions

Equinix’s Role in the IoT

Equinix and its Global Solutions Architects (GSAs) are highly relevant in supporting the development of current- and future-state IoT architectures, business processes and procurement transformations.

We enable the success of customers’ IoT infrastructures by helping them to:

  • Lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for mobile network operator (MNO), network service provider (NSP) and collection and delivery point (CDP) services, manufacturing devices and network bandwidth
  • Increase the performance and efficiency of the end-to-end service chain and the automation between consumer requests and billed services delivered via SDN and NFV technologies
  • Optimize environmental efficiencies including power availability/delivery to IoT platforms and devices
  • Leverage network peering and exchange platforms (Equinix Internet, Global Roaming and Cloud Exchange) to establish new revenue streams and gain access to existing markets
  • Increase the core peering metro density in transport layer and switch/router fabrics to support the next generation of user demand and traffic growth
  • Seek out hosting services at execution sites that are in close proximity to users and customers, and the end-to-end service chain of partners, service delivery organizations, clouds and wire/wireless networks
  • Solve the latency challenge with bandwidth, traffic control and proximity

Learn more about how we can help you devise a mobile data strategy that will help you realize your IoT goals.