Are You Ready?

The Internet of Things is Here: Is Your Network Ready?

Are You Ready?Cisco has stated that the Internet of Everything will generate at least $613 billion in profits in 2013, and that over the next decade it could be worth as much as $14.4 trillion. That’s an impressive number, especially when you consider that an additional $544 billion of potential IoE profits is being left on the table this year.

The networking giant said firms that optimize the connections among people, process, data, and things will generate the largest profits. “This study shows us that success won’t be based on geography or company size but on who can adapt fastest,” said Rob Lloyd, Cisco President of Development and Sales.

Not surprising that Cisco is pushing the significance of IoE which should pay off handsomely in product sales. However, Cisco is not alone in its rosy forecasts for a brave new world where fast, big, and agile networks will rule the day — or at least help ensure its success.

Not to be confused with the Internet of Things — i.e. machines and sensors — IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things, and the increased value that occurs as everything joins the network, according to Cisco. Unlike IoT, IoE came as something of a surprise to Bob Hinden, co-inventor of IPv6. The 64-bit Internet Protocol 6 is the replacement for the 32-bit IPv4, the dominant standard for connecting something to the Internet, which expands the connection limits from 4.3 billion to more than 340 undecillion addresses (340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

When I spoke with Hinden last year he talked about the early days of the Internet in the 1970s, including developing the first operational Internet router. “We realized in 1991-92 that the use of IPv4 addresses was accelerating and knew we had to have a version with a larger address space.”

Back in the 1970s, 4 billion address spaces seemed like a lot, but since then we’ve seen an explosion in demand, and if anything, that demand is accelerating. Cloud-based network traffic is expected to grow 600% by 2016, data center traffic will increase 400%, at least 60% of information workers will interact with content applications via a mobile device by 2015, and IoT, AKA Machine-To-Machine, is projected to surge from 10 billion to 50-billion-plus connected devices by 2020 — and many believe that number is woefully short of what will really happen.

While tweets and pictures can average hundreds of millions of items a day, a single large utility manages, on average, over 3 billion events on a daily basis, according to InStep, which has been in the M2M space for years. According to Boeing, jet engines generate 10 terabytes of operational data for every 30 minutes they turn. A four-engine jumbo jet can create 640 terabytes of data on a single trans-Atlantic flight, and every day, there are approximately 25,000 flights. Many of those jet engines are owned by GE, which has over 250,000 pieces of equipment deployed globally, ranging from jet engines and gas turbines to locomotives and medical devices.

“I don’t think I could have imagined the way people use the Internet today,” said Hinden. “The Internet of Things was easier to see; we’ve been talking about that for some time. I’m not surprised, but very pleased that we’ve changed the world.”

So IoE is generating billions, and will generate trillions of dollars of business in the next few years. And the number of people, things, data, and processes will continue to proliferate at incredible rates. Welcome to the future of the network that will need to evolve and grow to handle this bonanza.

About the author
Steve Wexler
Steve is a proficient IT journalist, editor, publisher, and marketing communications professional. For the past two-plus decades, he has worked for the world’s leading high-technology publishers. Currently a contributor to Network Computing, Steve has served as editor and reporter for the Canadian affiliates of IDG and CMP, as well as Ziff Davis and UBM in the U.S. His strong knowledge of computers and networking technology complement his understanding of what’s important to the builders, sellers and buyers of IT products and services.
  • theking2

    I don’t see how the amount of traffic has an increasing effect of the number of end-points required. To create 640TB of information a single IP address is just all it takes. IoT most likely will hide itself behind some sort of NAT and as long as BGP routers are upgraded we can see a long and prospering futere with IPv4.