Are micro data centers the engine to power the IoT (Internet of Things)?

I have not heard this much buzz in the IT industry since the early 1990’s – well, since the original internet was introduced. Now the Internet of Things (IoT) is used to denote wireless connectivity of devices, systems and services that go beyond the traditional M2M (machine to machine).

Today, the Internet is almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes of available data on the Internet was first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a video record or picture button, or scanning a bar code.

Data is being generated by everything from Coke machines to the 20-30 billion more devices hitting the market (many of them wearable). This large quantity of data will need to be processed and analyzed in real time. The IoT works by connecting these remote devices to a large centralized data center providing information on status, location, functionality, and so on. IoT will generate massive amounts of input data from sources that are globally distributed so transferring that data to a single large data center thousands of miles away for processing will not be technically and economically viable.

This will have a transformational effect on the data center market and technologies in order to support it. Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will demand the data centers be located closer to the data source to deliver security, capacity and speed (reduced latency).

The best way to do this? How about dropping large numbers of micro data centers closer to where the people are? Seems to make sense to have a greater number of smaller data centers to support the real time need. Since there will need to be hundreds of these micro data centers per large city, you don’t want every one to be different. This begs for standardization and prefabrication of these smaller data centers to ensure reliability, lower cost and enhanced serviceability all achieved through economies of scale.

I know there are not that many people wearing Google Glass yet. But before you know it there could be. Plus you could also be wearing 5 other IoT devices you never even thought of that will improve or enhance your life in many ways. But only if the internet is up and your connection is fast and secure….. brought to you by the micro data center near you.

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