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Huge investment needed for connected devices boom

Linda Endersby

Data centres “nowhere near ready” for 50 billion connected devices expected by 2020, says networking solutions provider, Brocade

The number of connected devices will double in the next eight years, with the potential to generate £2.9 trillion for the worldwide economy by 2020, according to new research from mobile trade body GSMA.

However, Brocade says that significant investment will be needed to upgrade current data centre infrastructure that is be unable to handle the huge volumes of data that this boom will create.

“The growth in connected devices represents perhaps the most exciting development in IT since the birth of the web, but current infrastructure is nowhere near ready to deliver it,” said Brocade’s UK country manager Marcus Jewell.

“When everything from a jet engine to a domestic washing machine is connected to the Internet and sending real-time information, data centre networks will be overwhelmed by the burden of traffic that this ‘Internet of Things’ will create.”

Jewell warns that massive advances in storage an network capacity will need to happen to cope with this big data boom and that will require investment that is not yet planned.

“Server virtualisation may be gaining pace and revolutionising the proportion of server utilisation within data centres, but it will have to become practically ubiquitous in order to support the billions of extra devices expected to come online in the next few years.”

Jewell warns that the new technologies required to handle this kind of volume and that brings its own set of problems to ensure virtualized networks can cope.

“While manufacturers will need to ensure that the underlying infrastructure is ready for the new generation of devices, it is encouraging that our ambitions exceed our current ability to deliver them,” said Jewell, cautiously optimistic, “as this will spur the IT industry on to deliver the next generation of Internet.”


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