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IOT Solution Architecture Styles

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Chandramouli Srinivasan

There are many ways to architect the Internet of Things implementations for enterprises. CIOs must consider security, privacy, cost, ease of access, agility and performance to determine the best architecture for each enterprise.

Enterprises will build and adapt their Internet of Things implementations based on a combination of these five main architecture styles:

  • Thing-centric. Things are smart on their own and store most of their data on-board. Things are self-sufficient and communicate to the Internet only for centralized coordination and analysis.
  • Gateway-centric. The gateway houses the application logic, stores data and communicates with the Internet for the things that are connected to it. Things don’t have to be as smart because the gateway provides these resources.
  • Smartphone-centric. The smartphone (or any mobile device) houses the application logic, stores data and communicates with the Internet for the things that are connected to it. Things don’t have to be as smart because the smartphone provides these resources.
  • Cloud-centric. The cloud will act as the central connection hub, power analytics, and provision data storage. Things don’t have to be as smart because the cloud will provide these resources
  • Enterprise-centric. Things are behind a firewall and are geographically collocated. There is little need to extend out to the external Internet.

Guideline:

Each architecture has its own advantages and disadvantages. These architectures are designed to be style models that most enterprises will want to combine according to their needs. The reason why the names of each of these architectures are appended with “centric” (for example, cloud-centric) is that we expect that most enterprises will not pursue a pure implementation. For example, an enterprise might favor a smartphone-centric architecture, but may still rely significantly on cloud resources.

Enterprise CIOs and IT leaders should use these steps as a way of thinking about how to implement these architectures:

  1. Find the architectures that fit your use cases. Use the criteria in the Choosing the Right IoT Architectures section. Expect to have different use cases that require different architectures within the same enterprise.
  2. Choose or build an IoT platform that can support these chosen architectures — (ideally, all architectures, even the ones you won’t adopt immediately).
  3. Consider emerging technologies that may eliminate the advantages and disadvantages of an architecture style. For example, high-performance messaging protocols (for example, Data Distribution Service remove the latency in the cloud to provide real-time communications as if the machines were locally close. The cost of computing, storage, and communications will also be an emerging factor. For example, a decreasing cost of hardware against a rising cost of communications would influence an enterprise toward a thing- or gateway-centric style, as opposed to a cloud-centric style.

Choosing the Right IoT Architectures by Prioritizing Constraints

To properly evaluate which architecture styles fit best, enterprise CIOs and IT leaders should consider the following criteria. There is no right answer. Often, what is perceived as an advantage in some situations (for example, using cloud resources to remove cost and complexity from things) is actually a disadvantage in other situations (for example, connecting to the cloud is problematic or less secure).

The Priority constraints that needs to managed are

  1. The cost of hardware, software, and data.
  2. Connectivity & technical requirements based on reliability and quality of service; Real-Time Performance.
  3. Data and Security.
  4. Users and Implementations complexity.
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Unleashing the Power of IoT Edge

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Chandramouli Srinivasan

Enterprises are increasingly connecting a broad variety and number of IoT endpoints (a collection of sensors) to access data from and better manage physical assets that are relevant to their business. Typical IoT-enabled business objectives include traditional benefits, such as improved asset management, as well as new business opportunities and revenue models, such as subscribed-to services. Integrated IoT platforms are required due to the increasing sophistication, scale and business value of these data exchanges.

An IoT platform is an on-premises software suite or a cloud service (IoT platform as a service[PaaS]) that monitors and may manage and control various types of endpoints, often via applications business units deploy on the platform. The IoT platform generally incorporates operations involving IoT endpoints (sensors, devices, and multidevice systems), IoT gateways, and back-end enterprise applications and data. The platform provides the capability to monitor IoT event streams, enables specialized analysis and application development, and engages back-end IT systems or services. It typically plays a vital role in providing functionality for provisioning, controlling and even changing the endpoints to support IoT solutions. Any IoT solution contains two parts an IoT Edge (includes endpoints and gateways) and an IoT Cloud (includes Cloud, Analytics, and Visualizations).

General IoT Platform capabilities include:

  • Provisioning and management of devices
  • Data aggregation, integration, transformation, storage, and management
  • Device Event processing: Policy and Rules Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • IoT device communications (network and/or the Internet)
  • Adapter or Connectors (API hub, gateway software)
  • Customizing and building applications (SDK, IDE etc.)
  • IoT data analysis and visualization including machine learning
  • User interfaces for both end users and developers

MostIoT Platforms offer many of these capabilities in the cloud and allow edge devices like sensors and gateway to connect to their cloud and leverage these capabilities.

The IoT platform may be implemented by the enterprise as an on-premises solution, using an IoT PaaS in the cloud, or be distributed between any combination of on-premises IoT endpoint agents, the gateway, public cloud IoT PaaS, and back-end systems and data.Very few Edge focused IoT platforms like Fog-Horn and PAASMER provide many of these capabilities on the Edge of IoT. Offering these capabilities at the Edge means all the data from the sensors can be processed at the IoT Edge. This plays a critical role in providing a more real-time response to events and to lower the cost of maintaining an IoT solution.

MISTY is PAASMER IoT Edge software that bundles all the key elements required to power the edge to be truly intelligent than act as data transfer agents. Unique aspects of MISTY are:

    1. Modular Operating System.
    2. High Speed Edge Database.
    3. Real-Time Rules Engine.
    4. Edge Analytics.
    5. Edge Machine Learning Engine.
    6. Hyper-Scale Cloud Connectors.
    7. Patented Security Engine.

IoT platform software is an emerging market with many types of buyers across the enterprise, from central IT to various lines of business (or LOBs). These buyers have different objectives, project types and success criteria. IoT platform software’s rapid evolution is driven by enterprises’ technical and business requirements, which continue to rapidly evolve and vary by industry and region, and emerging standards.

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Weekly Digest on Internet of Things

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Kavitha Gopalan

Will banks catch the curve of the machine-to-machine economy?
We are now at the tipping point. Technologies like IoT, autonomous vehicles, drones, robots or 3D printers will “people” this brave new machine-to-machine (M2M) economy.Core information and communication devices, which have been traditionally confined to boxes (PCs, smart phones, tablets etc) are increasingly embedded in all types of artefacts making our homes, offices, cars, trains, public spaces and cities “smarter”.Today we have two types of customers, individuals and corporates. Now with the rise of the machine-to-machine economy, a new customer segment of machines is arising.”
“Our assumption is that these M2M economies will be orchestrated as transactions on the blockchain. And the prerequisite to be part of the machine-to-machine economy is to have an integrated IoT and blockchain strategy and a footprint in both, IoT and blockchain space.”

Find out more on this post from IBT

How the Cloud Fosters Smart, Connected Manufacturing
Industry 4.0, Industries 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, is the automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, creating what many refer to as a “smart factory.” Although analysts claim that less than one percent of all production data is ever used, the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the ability to analyze huge amounts of data to identify patterns like tool wear or equipment fatigue. This insight gives manufacturers the predictive capability that can improve quality, productivity, and downtime. The key here is connecting data throughout the enterprise to provide insights for improving business processes.
Connected manufacturing is the foundation and the cloud is the key requirement, connecting not only your plant floor, but also connecting the plant floor to the top floor. You can run your entire manufacturing business via the cloud: plant floor production control intertwined with end-to-end inventory traceability, closed-loop quality connected with product lifecycle management, planning, finance, human resources, and supply chain management.

Find out more on this post from CIO.

The Platform of Things: The Mega IoT Platforms Land Grab
Platforms are important for IoT market growth because they standardize key functions such as application development, connectivity and device management. The typical PaaS package includes freemium access to APIs, SDKs, templates, libraries and tools, built on cloud resources for scalability and public cloud for testing and development. Platforms are a cost-effective route to advanced services such as connectors to back-office ERP, analytics, security and even blockchain pay-as-you-go. SaaS applications then inject the vertical specific capabilities on top. However, with a plethora of platforms out there, is there danger they will become commodities?

Find out more on this post from Forbes.

Complementary Technologies Enabling Effective IoT solutions
Internet of Things (IoT) is a path breaking new technology wave that is affecting our daily lives in ways unimaginable before. With Sensors, Cloud and Analytics, we are now able to provide solutions which were otherwise impossible. We are also able to give customers, strategic insights into their lives like never before.
For example IoT deployments can bring disruptive changes to retail industry. Retailers are exploring ways to use intelligent, connected devices to offer new services, enhance customer experiences, enter new markets and improve supply chain by creating digital ecosystems.

Find out more on this post from PAASMER

Big Money in The Internet of Things: A Mid-Year Report
While the numbers and percentages involving the Internet of Things are large, they are nothing compared to the dollars involved. $348 million will be Security spending on the Internet of Things this year (Gartner) and $547 million will be Security spending on the Internet of Things in 2018 (Gartner)

Find out more onresearch around the IoT moneythis post from MediaPost

GE is bringing its Internet of Things platform to Microsoft’s cloud
Jeff Immelt, GE’s chief executive, appeared on the stage of Microsoft Corp.’s annual partner event in Torontowith Satya Nadella to announce that their firms are joining forces to help organizations analyze the vast volumes of data coming off the connected universe.The collaboration will see GE’s Predix platform-as-a-service stack, a Cloud Foundry distribution specifically optimized for handling machine-generated logs, made available on Microsoft Azure by the end of the year. The vendors then plan to test the port with a limited number of users for another six months or so before making it generally availability in the second quarter of 2017.

Find out more on this post from Silicon angle

Arm Holdings confirms Softbank is buying the chip designer for £24.3B in bold IoT move
Arm Holdings confirmed that Japan’s Softbank Group has offered to pay £24.3 billion ($32 billion) to acquire the company — known for its chip designs for mobile handsets (Apple is a customer) as well as for processors that will power hardware in Internet of Things networks. It’s the IoT piece that interests Softbank the most, the company said.

Find out more on this post from Techcrunch

IoT- Adoption

IoT Adoption – Ambitious growth with Formidable Technical Challenge – How PAASMER fits in?

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Chandramouli Srinivasan

A recent Gartner survey provided key insights and recommendations on IoT adoption. We recently did an exercise to map these key findings and recommendations to our IoT Platform of A Service – PAASMER.  We have highlighted the points significantly addressed by PAASMER in block letters below. PAASMER – Being a Gateway/Cloud centric architecture addresses the highlighted area in a comprehensive manner by design.

As stated in PAASMER press coverage on Raconteur online – PAASMER scores extremely high over other existing architectures by being most flexible and scalable.

Gartner Key Findings

  • The number of IoT projects per organization is surprisingly high; companies that have implemented IoT have, on average, 6.8 different IoT projects, and the number of projects is expected to rise to 11.5 within three years.
  • Heavy (asset-oriented) industries are focused on internal benefits (for example, asset optimization) and plan to implement about twice as many projects (16.3 versus 8.9) as companies in light (service-oriented) industries, which are more focused on external benefits (for example, new revenue sources).
  • Fifty-one percent and 43% of survey respondents identified cybersecurity and integration, respectively, as their top two technical challenges for IoT projects.
  • More than one-third (38%) of respondents that have already implemented or are planning to implement IoT are planning to use an IoT platform for their next IoT project.

 

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