by Anthony Maiello, President Southwest Region (USA) – Tier4 Advisors

I was just spending a couple of minutes reflecting on how technology has evolved over my 30+ year career. All the innovative systems I worked on in so many different and fantastic industries came to mind including Energy, News Information, Security, Background Screening, Defense Systems, and Travel. The technology and architectural advances enabled many of us to apply the latest and greatest to get things done and make the world a better place.

I’ve been very fortunate to engage, learn, and apply many different technologies and architectural advances in electrical, mechanical, infrastructure, and software engineering spaces. So many significant advances in all engineering disciplines have enabled great systems we all rely on today – I certainly worked on a few, and one of my most proud was and still is the Smart Grid while at GE. Now we see more advances on the horizon one of these technological and architectural advances happening as I type and one we will all rely on as time goes on has the catchphrase “Internet of Things” or “IoT”.

I know you all heard of IoT, and many of you know it well and may also be applying it, but are we prepared?

I’ve written about IoT in the past and have studied and applied some IoT applications, especially at GE who is out in front in this area. Now I see it gaining huge momentum with expectations for IoT to support a $7 trillion market by 2020. Just think about cell phones alone and how many more will be out there by 2020. Cell phones are on the “edge” collecting and processing data that may or may not have to be stored and used. I know there has been a lot of buzz around IoT for years, but now it’s real and getting “more real”. Many data centers are just getting a handle on technologies like virtualization and cloud computing. Now they have another innovation that they need to integrate into their data center evolution, and its gaining momentum very quickly.

Think of the data center evolution over last 30 years, from mainframes to minicomputers to client/server. The ever-evolving innovations data center managers and CIOs had to incorporate to deliver time and time again. Many data center managers and CIOs are just getting hold of cloud and virtualization technologies with many growing pains still ongoing. It’s clear that IoT functionality calls out for cloud solutions to evolve as well the need for increased storage, I/O processes, and security advances. Data centers will need to be at the forefront of all of this. Cloud evolution is another topic of discussion – at some point cloud technology will have to evolve from “hybrid, private, public” terminology to something that is more standardized and becomes more of a norm for businesses, especially as IoT functionality grows.

Data Centers will need to integrate IoT and the cloud evolution to make full use of IoT functionality while also ensuring scalability, redundancy, security, and backup capabilities. The cloud and IoT compliment each other and both will evolve together as more and more edge sensors are gathering data trying to figure out what to do with it, store it or not, or something else. This type of technology and architectural advancement in the data center is critical to support as the world moves towards that $7 trillion IoT market.

We are in an exciting time in technology. Tier4 is gearing up to help data center managers and CIOs deliver for their clients as they evolve into the future. IoT, combined with architectural advances, cloud evolution, storage, I/O, and security will be the right mix for data centers to evolve to support their clients and continue to make the world a better place. CIOs and data center managers, let’s open the dialogue.

Tier4 Blog Edition 25: January 31, 2018