Tools that will connect IoT, Cloud computing, and big data is not an easy one to build. ‘Trident Techno Minds’ are for sure working on integrating these three to enable digital transformation seamlessly to all the industries around the world.
The huge leap of technology in the recent years has the Information Technology community focusing on a large-scale integration challenge by exploiting cloud computing, connectivity, and Big Data solutions. The convergence of Big Data, and the cloud will provide key capabilities for building next-generation systems and expanding the Internet of Things. This Internet of Things (IoT) will sustain communication and data sharing for billions of connected devices and systems. The number of connections and endpoints is so large it requires IPv6 addresses because the IPv4 addressing scheme cannot accommodate the volume of sensors, smart phones, smart factories, smart grids, smart vehicles, controllers, meters, and other devices that will be transmitting data over the Internet.
The sheer volume of data from human users and machine applications will require advanced analytics capable of exploiting the Big Data and the computing power of the cloud. A mix of these three is aptly called as ‘Internet of Everything’
The aim for all the technology companies working on IoT is that all of these efforts will deliver something like a universal plug-and-play solution, with a common service capability layer, that will simplify programming and enable devices to “learn” how to seamlessly connect to other devices and machines. Everyone would also like to see trusted mobility computing with managed, secure application programming interfaces (APIs), and a standard framework for mobile device security.
The Challenge of Integration
Building the IoT will be an exercise in integrating various devices and carrier networks, multiple communication protocols, and a wide variety of applications. It will often require integrating legacy networks and applications.
How to handle that diversity in integrating the array of applications is one of today’s major challenges. Successful large-scale IoT/Big Data/Cloud implementations require an integration focus and a data pipe that can move massive amounts of data from heterogeneous sources. Ingredients the architect should use to bake an IoT cake include dynamic discovery of devices and objects, on-the-fly reconfiguration capabilities, policy-driven provisioning and operation, and software-defined networking.
Data and Application Security
As most of us know, security is not a major achievement of today’s Internet, so scaling up to billions of connected devices requires innovative solutions. System architects must focus on security at endpoints and when data is in transit: device security, cloud security, and network security. Virtualization must be done with secure virtual machines (VM), secure single-tenant and multi-tenant servers, and secure software defined networks (SDN).
The challenges include the security of smart devices, and interconnecting networks. The hacking of traffic control systems, baby monitors, smart TVs, and industrial control systems (ICS) has shown us that the threats to connected devices are real. One requirement is authentication, such as in unlocking the doors of a vehicle. In other instances, the requirement is protecting confidential data, such as financial credentials, moving across the network pipe.
The architecture of the IoT must embrace multi-level security with end-to-end protection. It must support secure communication with data encryption, using standard protocols..
Tools used in IoT
Development of diverse applications has typically been performed with a variety of protocols using tools from various vendors. But now there is growing emphasis on standard protocols, interoperability, tools, and IoT integration platforms.
Integration platforms will become much more important as we experience the convergence of IoT, cloud computing, analytics, and Big Data. Besides supporting links among cloud applications, they will increasingly become a solution for tying together the distributed devices at one end of a network pipe with enterprise applications and analytics at the other end. Integration platforms shorten the development cycle for connecting devices to the cloud or enterprise systems.The tools in this space were traditionally built to simplify development with specific, targeted devices and protocols, but now there’s interest in tools with broader applicability.
Building on a Platform
A project that requires widespread connectivity, security, and the successful communication amongst various machine applications and cloud computing is an ambitious undertaking. This would be one of the most complex challenges we might have to face while integrating the various computing aspects we discussed. Many of us would favour the use of a platform that handles many of the integration problems of a geographically dispersed, multi-vendor, cloud environment.
An effective SDN solution requires device abstraction, dynamic discovery of network topology, and intelligent orchestration. The process of creating a secure software-defined network configuration includes creating user accounts and rights, specifying security zones with their rules, and using defining templates for provisioning. Creating an application template is similar to creating a VM template.
Our Final thoughts
The coming together of IoT, cloud computing, and Big Data technologies is both an opportunity and a challenge. These technologies give us the engine for a powerful new generation of services and applications. But there will be trials, such as overcoming complexity and security threats, which are best addressed by adhering to standards and using powerful tools for integration and interoperability.
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