So much emphasis is being placed on managing cloud services that it seems to me that enterprises are forgetting one key piece of the IT mix devices, David Link of ScienceLogic said. Its not just services that they need to worry about anymore from a management perspective.
Looking at the various reports coming out of IBM, Ericsson and Cisco, we could be looking at potentially one trillion Internet connected devices by 2015. To put that in perspective, we passed the five-billion milestone in late August/early September.
If you can put a sensor and a network anywhere, then think of all of the places you might want to monitor and all of the data youd like to collect, said Joy Weiss, President and CEO of Dust Networks. Today, with sensors running on batteries or harvested energy, you already have the ability to get information from anywhere or connect to anything anywhere.
Dust Networks provides wireless sensor networking (WSN) technology that can serve as the cornerstone for such things as industrial sensor networks, smart power grids and smart buildings. Tiny sensors, or motes, can be embedded into or attached to various devices. They then communicate over low-power 802.15.4 and form SmartMeshes, which communicate information back to a single device that manages the sensor network and connects to enterprise applications or transmits data over the public Internet.
When I mentioned that Ive heard this trillion-connected device story before, over and over again, for years and years, Weiss admitted that shes been telling that story for years herself.
Whats different this time is that immediate value is driving the technology, rather than technology providers up to their ears in science projects and hunting around for interesting use cases.
What we see in early applications, although there is a broad variety, is that the application drives the deployment. Its not like someone is coming into the enterprise and dropping sensors around randomly and expecting them to automatically communicate with the rest of your systems and networks, Weiss said.
For instance, many utilities are already deploying wireless mesh infrastructure to enable smart grids. Energy savings, predictive maintenance and asset management are driving the deployment of sensors and the creation of these networks, and theyre already paying big dividends.
The Internet of Things or this "Device-aggeddon" as David Link of ScienceLogic refers to it is already here. Its happening, and the only reason that we dont realize it is that much of this is happening in the background.
Sound familiar? Thats exactly what happened in the early stages of cloud adoption. I cant tell you how many emails I received from CIOs and IT managers telling me that they would never sign off on moving core applications to the cloud, yet they were already using Salesforce.com, OpenAir or some other SaaS application. They just didnt think of those as cloud-based applications.
Similarly, its hard to tell whether your power grid is smart or not. How would you know if a pipeline is connected to the public Internet?
You wont until your organization gets into the game and you have to start factoring a broad variety of devices and networks into your larger IT plans.