Connectivity, intelligence and automation mean things won’t be the same again

By IoT Now Magazine

Jim Douglas, Wind River

Jim Douglas, the president of Wind River, tells George Malim the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is reliant on the introduction of fluid computing, machine learning and changed mindsets in traditional business domains if it is to deliver on its potential.

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) has now been high on organisations’ agendas for several years since its emergence from the machine-to machine (M2M) industry, there remains a long

road ahead for the IoT concept to reach maturity. That road involves bringing technology, society and economics together to create a new digitised arena in which we live, work and entertain ourselves. That is a distant prospect and we are still at the start of the journey.

“Most companies talk about IoT as a continuum. The general concepts are to first connect the devices, then make them intelligent and then to make them autonomous,” says Douglas, who joined Wind River, an Intel subsidiary focused on software for IoT, in 2010. “That has been the drumbeat since the early days of connecting things, but there are underlying technology and business needs that are required to complete that continuum.”

All the ingredients aren’t quite in place and several technologies are yet to find the form in which they will enable the intelligence and automation that completion of the IoT vision requires. The approach to computing resources is one area that Douglas singles out.

“One big topic of discussion is where compute is going to reside,” he says. “Computing power has oscillated over the past forty years between centralised and distributed, with the latest incarnation being cloud – a centralised approach. There is a school of thought in the market that suggests we are moving back to a distributed computing model, but I don’t think that’s necessarily going to happen. Yes, we need to move more compute out to the edge, but what really needs to happen to fully enable the promise of IoT is fluid computing.”

“For IoT to reach its full potential, systems need to be able to access computing resources on a fluid basis,” he adds. “In the cloud, enterprise class virtualisation has enabled elastic computing, where you can orchestrate applications to run on available resources regardless of location. We’ve been working with Wind River customers to map out their future and show them how they can take that concept and extend it. The idea is to orchestrate workloads between the edge, fog and cloud. Creating a topology that allows you to use compute at all levels on a fluid basis such that you can drive workloads to the best compute resource as required.”

Ultimately this will create an environment in which compute resources are available to meet the demands of applications as required with efficiencies generated from maximised utilisation of resources. However, this is complex to achieve and, for many, represents an entirely new IT landscape.

“Embedded system developers have been consolidating workloads on the east/west axis for some time. They have been using embedded virtualisation technology to consolidate federated systems to drive down costs,” explains […]

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Posted on: March 8, 2018

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