The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform data centers significantly in several ways. When IoT reaches its full potential, Gartner estimates that there will be 26 billion units installed. These units cover a wide range of connected devices, including glasses, raincoats, freezers, thermostats, and even automobiles. All of these devices will be producing data; data with personal information that, if left unprotected, could create a security nightmare.
The areas affecting data centers that Gartner has identified cover a broad range of technology needs that center on data, data storage management, and data security. They include:
- Security – All of the data generated from IoT contains personal information that could expose individuals and their privacy to hackers. With connected units such as wearables and appliances, this information dives deep into peoples’ personal lives.
- Consumer Privacy – As mentioned above, the types of data IoT produces will potentially help organizations provide rich consumer experiences, but that data can also provide hackers with valuable information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
- Storage Management – The simple volume of data that IoT produces is a critical factor in data centers. Storage capacity will be a key requirement, as well as how organizations can best make use of the sheer volume of data being created.
- Server Technologies – The impact here will mainly be on those industries that can best make use of the IoT data being generated and be profitable at it.
- Inbound Data Center Bandwidth – Today’s data center WAN links are sized for moderate-bandwidth requirements, mainly generated by consumer interaction with applications. With IoT, there will be massive amounts of small message sensor data transferred to the data center for processing, and this requires an increase in bandwidth requirements.
- Power – All of this added data and storage management will require additional power, and it will push data center operational efficiencies to new heights.
Overall, the amount of consumer-driven data will increase significantly with IoT, and together with enterprise-driven data – what we call Big Data – and you create major data center evolution. Fabrizio Biscotti, a research director at Gartner, had this to say:
Data center operations and providers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management platforms that can include a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system approach of aligning IT and operational technology (OT) standards and communications protocols to be able to proactively provide the production facility to process the IoT data points based on the priorities and the business needs. Already in the data center planning phase, throughput models derived from statistical capacity management platforms or infrastructure capacity toolkits will include business applications and associated data streams. Those comprehensive scenarios will impact design and architecture changes by moving toward virtualization, as well as cloud services. This will reduce the complexity and boost on-demand capacity to deliver reliability and business continuity.
Is your data center influenced by IoT? How are you planning for the future and the data, security, and storage management needs that will undoubtedly be affected? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.