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IoT's big challenge: Managing billions of devices

James Kobielus | Aug. 12, 2016
IoT will soon permeate every aspect of our lives -- the very definition of sprawl. How will we derive meaningful analytics from the endless IoT fabric?

Obviously, IoT federation structures could easily grow as complex and unwieldy as the distributed analytics apps they aim to support. The cross-domain messaging overhead needed to coordinate federated management of distributed IoT data-analytic workloads could prove prohibitive. And let's not forget the equally important messaging overhead associated with managing other federated IoT services, such as reliable messaging, transactional rollback, long-running orchestration, and quality-of-service policies.

Regarding the middleware fabric for federated IoT, I agree with Canty's suggestion that blockchain might prove optimal.Blockchain's inherently open, distributed, agile, and transactional architecture would fit any cross-domain interoperability scenario such as IoT where secure data interchange is essential.

I also found Canty's discussion of IoT app containerization in a federated interoperability context to be worth investigating. It would be good if developers could rely on containerized environments, such as Docker, for ensuring that IoT apps tap into the federated resources sufficient to execute data/analytic applications efficiently and scalably on any edge platform. Here's my discussion of IoT app containerization from several months ago.

Without a comprehensive federation architecture, it's not clear how distributed IoT applications will feed continuously optimized algorithmic intelligence to every edge at all hours of the day and night. When it's an autonomous endpoint such as a self-driving car, an IoT analytics federation framework would ensure that the algorithms driving it all are continuously updated in conformance of the requirements of all stakeholders, such as manufacturers, dealers, ride-sharing providers, passengers, government regulators, insurers, and service organizations.

IoT federation will help society as a whole to optimize this sprawling fog for every conceivable application -- even for future applications we haven't begun to conceive.

Source: Infoworld


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