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Sean Bowen

Push Technology Blog

Sean Bowen - Push Technology

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The Lowdown on the Internet of Things

23 June 2014  |  1125 views  |  0

Earlier this week, I was reading an article titled: “Nine Things you need to know about the Internet of Things”. The article discusses the predicted future value of IOT (Internet of Things), the criminal opportunities that are arising because of IOT, such as fraud, theft of SIM cards and DOS attacks and even talks about the added labour for CIOs due to huge increases in traffic and messages.

After reading the article, two points resonated with me (not just because of their relevance as IOT grows) but because of their relevance today.


 1. Network traffic will become a nightmare

According to Clive Longbottom, principal analyst at Quocirca, “On the whole, each IoT node will only want to send small bytes of data across the network, but will want to do this incessantly and, of course, there will be billions of the little buggers. So unless something is done to lower the amount of useless chatter you’d better start putting in ultra-high speed bonded fibre everywhere.”

This huge volume of data that will result from the Internet of Things is also described in an article by Gartner and it talks about how, “data center managers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management in these areas to be able to proactively meet the business priorities associated with IoT.” Evidently, companies need to think about technology or concepts that are forward-looking; we need to be asking ourselves ‘what data do I actually need’ rather than ‘how much data can I squeeze across my network?’

This is what Push Technology is all about. Whilst I’m sure that most data center providers would be thrilled to sell more space, I don’t believe the best answer lies with more hardware and infrastructure. In fact, reducing the load and the amount of useless chatter from apps and devices, that ultimately hits the network, is the key to solving this issue. Deltas of change are going to be more and more important, but not only to reduce network strain and make apps more reliable, but to make them more useable. All apps need to be made more data efficient at the application level before the data hits the network. Here at Push, we always say: why send a message when nothing has changed?

2You’ll desperately need developers with the right interface skills

The article also discusses how, “it is widely thought that IoT will be based on certain interface and communication technologies and protocols such as RESTful web services. These require skills that many IT functions currently don’t have. JavaScript is the best known skill shortage, but there will be other skills shortages, like JSON formatted data and MQTT.”

APIs oriented around web site delivery are not ideal for IoT applications; performing IoT apps need access to small, timely packets encoded in the minimum amount of protocol. None of these are a problem for websites running on computers with permanent connections, but all of which impact the speed of mobile or connected devices or applications, which will be the case with the Internet of Things.

Optimized data transports and messaging like our product, Diffusion, can provide content-specific caching, pushing the required data to the app more efficiently. This reduces the server load and the data running over the network. Furthermore, many back end systems were not designed to support large volumes of small data requests, which is exactly what happens in the IoT space.

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As co-founder of Push Technology, Sean has created a company that is exciting, innovative and driven. Passionate about business and technology, Sean has helped organisations realise the full potential...

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