The IoT Could Be a Threat or a Boon to the Public Cloud

    April 26, 2017

    By Steve Mason

    IoT adoption is growing rapidly, but does this boom mean the end of the public cloud as we know it?

    Connected devices are everywhere, and their growth is only just beginning. The IoT is not just the latest trend in digital technologies, but also one of the largest disruptors in the industry since the advent of the cloud itself. Technologies like smart speakers, connected cars, wearables, smart thermostats, and smart appliances can be found in homes across the country. Networking giant Cisco estimates that by 2020 there will be between 50 and 200 billion connected devices in the world.

    Like with most new digital trends, experts are having a hard time predicting exactly how the emergence of the IoT will impact existing products and services, including the public cloud. While it’s certain that the IoT will push some functions to the edges of corporate networks (rather than in centralized locations), the scale of the disruptions are largely unknown.

    "There are people out there who say the edge is the death of cloud," said Richard Villars, Vice President of Data Center and Cloud at analyst firm IDC in an interview with TechTarget. "I kind of say the opposite. I would say that this only works if we figure out how to bring cloud to the edge."

    Why it Could Mean the End

    On the one hand, some experts believe the IoT will disrupt private and public cloud operation so much that it will put a significant dent in its usage. During the IDC Directions 2017 event, the firm spent much of its time talking about the IoT and cloud computing in what they call “Cloud 2.0.” In research published by the firm, they predicted that organizations will process 43% of their data through the IoT.

    Fog computing, a term coined by Cisco, refers to the kind of local cloud that the IoT offers users. It’s a close-proximity data solution that provides mobility not only for the users accessing data, but for the hardware that actually houses it. According to Cisco, fog computing “reduces service latency and improves QoS, resulting in superior user-experience.”

    These advantages have wide appeal among a number of industries that require real-time/predictable latency, such as industrial automation, transportation, and any other line of work involving networks of sensors and actuators. The fact that more industries are turning to such technologies means the window for the IoT has been swung wide open.

    Why it Could Bolster the Cloud

    The more likely outcome, however, is that the IoT will simply undergird the cloud and motivate further adoption of both technologies. The IoT is data-intensive, and it doesn’t make sense to try to locally store the huge volumes of data these devices collect. In fact, most IoT devices are leveraging cloud computing to manage the mountains of data being collected on a daily basis.

    “Cloud computing and the IoT both serve to increase efficiency in our everyday tasks, and the two have a complementary relationship,” according to Business Insider. “The IoT generates massive amounts of data, and cloud computing provides a pathway for that data to travel to its destination.”

    This relationship means that as the IoT grows, the cloud will have to grow alongside it.

    Be Prepared Either Way

    The IoT is here to stay, but its full impact on the world of enterprise computing remains to be seen. IT teams should be prepared for anything, and that means deploying vendor-agnostic tools to monitor network resources. Companies that utilize monitoring tools like the Vityl Suite from TeamQuest are ready to navigate whatever the future may hold for the world of IoT/cloud computing.

    These powerful tools monitor the performance regardless of its makeup, whether a company hosts all of its infrastructure functions locally, in the cloud, or a hybrid model. Vityl Monitor collects valuable data and assigns a health and risk score to inform IT teams decisions. If a function is at risk of failure, IT teams can deploy more resources at the right time to ensure the infrastructure stays online. Regardless of the makeup, this powerful tool can save IT teams time and money.

    Category: cloud