Upgrading the Plumbing for the Internet of Things

plumber-smallThe fascination with the Internet of Things is reaching a fever pitch as daily headlines paint pictures of a completely connected future.

On Tuesday the Washington Post hosted an online forum titled All Things Connected that examined the impact of the Internet of Things on many aspects of our future. Much of the ground covered was familiar territory – connected cars, wearables, medical devices and of course, the security concerns that come along with any “next great innovation”.

Forbes contributor Howard Baldwin summarized how the forum relates to what matters to CIOs:

“From an IT standpoint, that scenario spreads into a variety of areas: networking, wireless connectivity, big data, privacy and security, analytics – everything that CIOs should be working on getting good at. The maximum benefit only comes from the data when it’s networked together.”

His point is that the Internet of Things isn’t a brand new way of computing – we will still be collecting, integrating, analyzing and automating, just like we’ve been doing for decades. What the Internet of Things does do is dramatically increase the volume and velocity of information flow, which creates opportunities to disrupt your industry if you can out-collect, out-integrate, out-analyze and out-automate your competition.

This is where Solace fits in an Internet of Things architecture. Data collection from the Internet of Things stresses the existing IT plumbing by driving orders of magnitude more data flow than typical applications. You can upgrade your network from 1 GigE to 10 GigE or even 40 GigE capacity, but that won’t do you any good if the applications-to-application links are already beyond their capacity. Solace breaks through bottlenecks at the data movement layer so you can handle the massive data flows, which is the necessary precursor to real-time insights and more sophisticated automation.

This requirement is not unique to the Internet of Things, though. Most of the major trends in IT today – big data, cloud computing, enterprise data grids – revolve around the real-time movement of an increasingly larger volume of information over local and long-distance networks. They all need more capable plumbing to deliver the benefits promised.

Even if the Internet of Things is not yet on your company’s list of top IT projects, I bet the challenges and opportunities associated with moving rising data volumes and making business processes more real time are integral parts of projects that are. Establishing a fast, reliable application infrastructure that can meet those needs will make it easier to step up to the Internet of Things when it does become one of your top priorities.