Dell Simplifies Storage Management for Enterprise Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of ThingsOver the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has gradually evolved from being a concept into a reality.  Approximately 12.1 billion Internet connected devices were in use in April 2014. By 2020 the number of devices is expected to surpass 50 billion. That’s new endpoints deployed at a rate of 250 devices connecting to the internet every second.

Business Insider separates the IoT market into three main sectors: enterprise, home, and government, and estimates that the enterprise market will account for around 40 percent of the total devices connected across all sectors.  The enterprise IoT alone is estimated to be larger than the smartphone and tablet markets combined.  Across the world, businesses are connecting their “things” every day to create powerful new business value. These “things” are sophisticated devices that range from tiny sensors to jet engines with massive streams of telemetry.

Getting past the hype of IoT requires businesses to identify realistic use-cases for leveraging organization-wide analytics to strategic plans and business models, which start as a pilot and gain adoption based on its outcomes and successes. However, as the number of endpoints grows and data-streams pack more information, IoT can quickly overwhelm traditional infrastructure and in particular, the storage capabilities required for the implementation and scaling of IoT initiatives.

Data, in a core IoT system infrastructure, requires data storage capabilities that handle not only an infinite amount of low-value data, but also a high-performance storage tier for data that is critical to business performance in real time.  IoT solutions require high performance access to new machine data as well as an array of business analytics tools, such as Dell Statistica, to provide true business value and meet enterprise expectations.  Additionally, IoT also demands a scalable and interoperable infrastructure to overcome obstacles in large scale implementation of IoT. It should specifically address heterogeneity of IoT devices and the data, and enable seamless addition of new devices across applications.

Moreover, as raw data is mined and analyzed in meaningful insights, more data gets generated at the infrastructure level.  Businesses need to make sure security is implemented at this level to prevent new data from being breached.  Data security is a primary concern in any IoT environment with multiple connected devices at an enterprise level.  Business critical or confidential information must be protected from unauthorized access and properly disposed when required.  A typical enterprise will generate much more data and therefore have more robust security requirements than a typical consumer.  There have been some concerns that early generations of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack.

Dell IoT Solutions

Our goal is to enable IoT to help our customers run their businesses better.  We have storage solutions for IoT that can improve efficiency, simplify storage administration, reduce cost, enable secure information sharing, and increase data security.  Depending on the IoT dataset scale, our architecture agnostic solutions ensure the customer’s IoT solution meets their unique needs without imposing our view, provide robust analytics for insight-driven action, and allow them to scale from pilot to production quickly and cost-effectivelyDell SC Series SANs, with technology, such as self-encrypting drives, can help prevent unauthorized access to administrative interfaces and protect data at rest, while leveraging the standard enterprise class features, such as tiering, replication and snapshots.  In a core IoT storage infrastructure, Dell Storage All-Flash and  Flash-Optimized array offerings could deliver high performance to analytics tools in the high-valued data tier while dense arrays with nearline drives could be used for lower valued data that is aging towards its retention life.  Additionally, moving “hot” files to our DAS based offerings could further create a sophisticated storage tiering structure for your IoT environment. We just implemented a storage solution to help Wheeling Hospital manage its complex data infrastructure environment, which is a good representation of a typical implementation for storage IoT. To stay updated on more use cases for IoT, subscribe to this blog and follow us @Dell_Storage on Twitter.

About the Author: Scott Saktanaset