Perishable Data From The Internet Of Things

Pluto observations through the years
Pluto observations through the years. (Source: NASA)

Once upon a time, if an enterprise valued a piece of data, it would get loaded into the Enterprise Data Warehouse, a mighty beast that consumed huge quantities of data, and money, in order to churn out important insights once a quarter.

Mike Flannagan, VP and General Manager of Cisco’s Data and Analytics Group, believes that with the advent of the Internet of Things “the majority of data will be processed at the edge.”

“High value data may not end up in the data warehouse,” he says, because the data being generated out at the edge is difficult to bring back to a centralised store. Consider sensor equipment on an offshore drilling platform, or similar remote site. The bandwidth requirements for moving that data back to a central site are so immense that it’s just not cost-effective, or even feasible, to do it.

Instead it makes a lot more sense for industrial telemetry data, video surveillance feeds, even retail transaction data, to be processed at the edge, close to where it’s generated.

Cisco advocates customers make use of the infrastructure they already have—their networks—and augment it. “Use the network to process the data, not just move it along,” Flannagan says.

Cisco has devices to sell you to do this (of course) like their 4000 series Integrated Service Routers that essentially gloms a UCS style server onto a router. Compute and storage has become so powerful—and affordable—in such a small form-factor that you can now pack some serious processing power into remote office equipment.

Which is where my Pluto analogy kicks in.