For as long as I remember, robots have always been cool. Perhaps it’s my passion for all things futuristic, but I don’t think I am alone in saying robots have provided a glimpse of what could be possible. Looking at today’s Internet of Everything (IoE) world, robots have advanced from the 1950s tin wind-up toy robots and the affable C-3P0 and R2-D2 from George Lucas’s Star Wars, to emerging technology that has the potential to improve our lives and increase shared connections.
Today’s “Ask the Futurist” question is focused on how robotic technology and its supporting networks will evolve over time. Here’s the question from William Maguire, a wireless engineer.
Question: “How do you think mesh networking will affect robotics in the next 20 years?”
Positive Train Control (PTC) is one of many new safety measures mandated by the U.S. Federal Government to help prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments and other human-caused accidents. If warnings to slow down or to stop a train go unnoticed by an engineer, the locomotive’s onboard computer will automatically apply the brakes after a certain amount of time, with the intention to prevent a collision and potentially save lives.
Earlier this year in April, Cisco and Lilee Systems announced plans for the industry’s first end-to-end communications network for PTC with a proof-of-concept network, located in the San Francisco Bay area, to verify communications architecture. Today, this vision has become a reality that is ready for the market with Cisco Positive Train Control (PTC) 1.0.
We talked about Texas Lone Star Network (TLSN) about two years ago when they upgraded their network with Cisco ASR 9000 Series routers. Since then the company, a consortium of 40 Rural Telecommunications Carriers in Texas has expanded quickly, growing from 3000 lit miles of fiber to over 6225 miles and now providing services next door in New Mexico. Their Cisco-based IP and DWDM fiber network offers wavelength, Ethernet, and SONET services to its consortium company members, along with national carriers, wireless providers, regional cable TV operators, colleges and the federal government.
With bandwidth forecasts continuing to expand they’ve recently made the leap to 100G, adding Cisco’s coherent nLightTM 100G technology to their existing ROADM-based network. TLSN installed Cisco 40G in the network two years ago. For TLSN the ability to easily deploy 100G without the need to re-engineer the network or install new fiber is critical to their business. This will support growing customer demand for multiple 10G service on-demand. One service TLSN offers which they call “TLSN Texas Waves®” bundles multiple 10G or 2.5G optical wavelengths together. This solution has been well received as an ideal alternative to service providers faced with the high cost of a dark fiber IRU, maintenance and DWDM electronics. With the coherent optical upgrade they’re now well positioned to offer 40G and 100G wavelengths. Read More »
According to EMA, “sophisticated users and applications, along with less expensive hardware and software, better and faster technology, and new valuable data sources are causing a shift away from single platforms solutions such as enterprise data warehouses towards a more diverse or hybrid ecosystem (watch video) focused on matching data type, workload and platform capabilities to execute these workload.
Hybrid strategies allow for deeper business insights and more sophisticated workloads but often demand more than traditional data integration tools can deliver. As more platforms are utilized and data is more diverse and geographically separated, data virtualization becomes a solution that’s critical for many companies to utilize.”
So that is the case for data virtualization. But why combine data virtualization and networking. The report addresses this point directly. “As data virtualization has matured to meet these new demands, the networks sitting at either end of the data virtualization technology, have become the bottlenecks to speed and scale.
Data virtualization technologies access data where it resides versus physically moving it to other platforms. This model allows for a more agile environment saving time and money when managing data in complex environments. Data virtualization platforms must rely upon query optimization along relatively fixed network paths to enable the transmission of this data.” Check this video dialog with Shawn Rogers, VP of Research Enterprise Management Associates.
“The acquisition of Composite Software is a wise move for Cisco as it combines the functionality of data virtualization and Cisco’s ability to understand the network as well as enact change within it to allow data virtualization to be executed at an even higher level than previous technologies allowed.”