Today’s network infrastructure may not meet the needs of emergent IoT systems. IoT systems need their own infrastructure standards, according to researchers at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg. According to these researchers, the internet of things (IoT) needs its own infrastructure ecosystem — one that does not use external clouds at all.
Networks should be fault tolerant, secure, and traverse disparate protocols, which they are not now. A smarter, unique, and organic infrastructure needs to be developed for the IoT, simply adapting the IoT to traditional networks may not work. Services must self-organize and function autonomously and people must accept the fact that we are using the internet in ways never originally intended.
The present-day internet is based on network architectures of the 70s and 80s, when it was designed for completely different applications. The internet has centralized security, which may cause choke points, and has an inherent lack of dynamic controls, which translates to inflexibility in access rights — all of which make it difficult to adapt the IoT to it. Device, data, and process management must be integrated into IoT systems. For the application, it should make no difference whether the specific information requirement is answered by a server or an IoT node.
Extreme edge computing
In other words, servers and nodes, conceptually, should merge. One could argue that it’s a form of extreme edge computing, which is when processing and data storage is taken out of traditional, centralized data center environments and placed close to where the resources are required. It reduces latency, among other advantages. Detecting failures ahead of time and seamless migration of devices are needs too — services cannot fail just because a new kind of device is introduced. The systems will benefit from each other, for example, they can share computing power, data and so on. The result will be an enormous data pool, which, in turn, will make it possible to make much more precise statements, for example when predicting climate models, observing traffic flows, or managing large factories in Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 refers to smart factories that have connected machines autonomously self-managing their own supply chain, production output, and logistics without human intervention. The idea is to guarantee full sovereignty over proprietary data. To get there, though, one must eliminate dependency on the cloud and access to data via third parties. This would then allow companies to be independent of the server infrastructures of external service providers which are subject to constant changes and even may not be accessible.
The question for most companies is how and when to jump deeper into the IoT game, whether transitioning from current IoT connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi or even wired networks, or holding off to start from scratch with 5G. A 5G network can decrease the cost of the last mile connectivity drastically, while increasing throughput at the same time. The new technology meets big data’s three V’s with three V’s of its own: volume (in the form of increased bandwidth), velocity (with higher speeds), and variety (which is a product of 5G’s enhanced security capabilities to ensure data integrity).
Velocity: The arrival of 5G mobile technology promises download speeds of up to 10 Gbps—1000x greater than 4G’s upper limit of 100 Mbps. Upload speeds, which are a fraction of download speeds with current technology, could, theoretically, equal uploads with 5G, reducing latency to nearly imperceptible levels.
Volume: While speed has captured most headlines about 5G, capacity increases are no less dramatic. Compared to 4G, 5G networks will be capable of supporting approximately 1000x more devices in the same spectrum. As the number of smart products proliferate, this capacity expansion will be critical. Greater capacity also means richer communication. Instead of texts and emails, machines can share live HD videos, which could prove lifesaving for emergency services or repair personnel, for example.
Variety: Finally, 5G offers greater data integrity by allowing administrators to define security at the device, group, or organization level or higher.
The key to capitalizing successfully on 5G technology lies in the cloud, where massive amounts of data from IoT and big data systems can be stored, processed, and fed back to users and their devices. What was missing, however, was the last mile of connectivity to link individual devices to the source of computing power and data storage. That cost to connect the last mile had remained stubbornly high compared to the dramatic decrease in cost of compute and storage at the edge. With 5G this will change, hopefully for the better
About the Author
Joydeep is Associate Director – Service Delivery & PMO in Trinamix.
He is a proven IT program portfolio leader with 18 years of experience in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and technology industries. He has experience in leading large-scale, complex and transformative business investments that apply technology (IoT, blockchain etc) to business opportunities that meet business needs.
He is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology where he completed his Bachelors with merit based Government scholarships. He completed his MBA from University of Warwick in the UK with a fully paid Commonwealth Scholarship.
Joydeep currently lives in New Jersey with his family.