The Complexity of the Internet of Things
I was scanning the technology and cloud computing articles at CIO and came across Stephen Lawson’s recent article – Cisco Unveils ‘fog Computing’ to Bridge Clouds and the Internet of Things.
I had been considering the Internet of Things myself a few weeks ago when I updated my home wireless network. Aside from the usual laptops, tablets, and phones of my family and guests, I have over 30 devices on my network encompassing:
- Apple TVs
- Blue Rays
- Cable boxes
- OOMA VoIP server
- Video cameras
- Home automation (with an additional 50 or more smart endpoints, water sensors, motion sensors, open/close sensors, switches, and receptacles)
After I updated my wireless network and realized how many different devices connect to it, I started my tax return. Then I got a little scared; maybe I should engage some extra security measures?
Well, I have a new managed gig switch, so I could vLAN or isolate my component. But what about all my favorite applications that connect to these appliances? I can’t find or record a Comcast show these days without my Xfinity application. Wait, maybe I put a port forwarding rule to a device or application on my router so that I could access it from the Internet! Or was that the Nest thermostat?
Clearly, security and the management of network connections in my home are getting complicated, and my family isn’t shy about expressing their frustration when something doesn’t work. Luckily, my refrigerator, stove, and washing machine are ‘deaf,’ although I do have a leak sensor next to my washer. And my basement window sensor saved me some serious repair costs when the Denver area was flooded back in September 2013.
Overall, I think Cisco's decision to provide computing resources in their networking gear is right on track. I like confirming that my garage door is closed by looking at my phone app, and I like having the ability to turn up my thermostat remotely before returning home from a long vacation. But what’s the implication for the data center? Let’s just say it’s a little more complex than my home network.