“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill
It is nearly impossible – even foolish – to look ahead without looking back. Glimpses into the past can give us inspiration for new innovations and even teach us what not to do. Behind every great technological innovation is a solid legacy product or solution that inspired it or played an integral part in its development. Behind the printing press was paper and block printing. Behind the telephone was the telegraph. And behind the Internet of Everything (IoE)? Ethernet.
Today – May 22 – marks the 40th anniversary of Ethernet. In 1973, technologist and 3Com founder Robert Metcalfe designed the Ethernet to allow computer devices to communicate with each other using radio-like signals over an antenna cable. Long used for reliable and efficient access to information, its implications on the networking world reach far past the local area network (LAN).
Over the course of 40 years, our quest for connecting the unconnected continues. Our connections have become increasingly complex since Metcalfe was tasked with connecting several Xerox computers to a single printer, and we need to understand the possibilities in both the number and value of our modern-day connections.
In a previous blog post, How the Internet of Everything Will Change the World…for the Better, I referenced Metcalfe’s law: the power of the network is greater than the sum of its parts. True. But the parts need to be recognized and optimized in order to maximize this power. The Internet of Everything is a large-scale metaphor for Metcalfe’s law. The combined connections of people, processes, data, and things don’t just amount to a list of things that are connected. The actionable insights that exist with the power of networked connectivity exponentially create the Internet of Everything.
Ethernet has helped further the progress that these connections – and the insights gleaned from them – will have on the Internet of Everything. So, today we celebrate not only the introduction of Ethernet, but also the technologies it made possible.
The UTC TELECOM conference wraped recently and the Connected Grid team has had a great time on-site! It’s been exciting for us to demo key components of our product portfolio and connect with many of our core audiences. Centered on the theme of “delivering your future,” the sold-out event served as a great platform for us to discuss Cisco’s efforts within the utility industry and the migration of the grid into a fully IP-enabled world. Read More »
Guy Denis, Business Development Manager for Industrial Automation at Cisco Systems, explains the booth at Hannover Messe 2013 and how it relates to the theme of integrated solutions by connecting the IT environment with manufacturing industry Operational Technologies(OT).
Guy talks about Cisco’s presence at the show and talks about some elements of the booth and the solutions Cisco showed. Many of the Cisco Connected Industries and products were on display, including the Industrial switching products like the new IE2000 which now has Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.
Guy shows the other Machine-to-machine (M2M) products such as the IE3000, and some of the newer modules such as for PoE and fiber, very applicable for machine manufacturers and in the automotive as well as the Food and Beverage industries.
Guy then goes on to talk about the architectural approach that Cisco has developed and the partnership with Rockwell Automation, a relationship that enables joint development. So Cisco is extremely relevant on the plant floor, especially in a Rockwell environment with the jointly developed Converged Plant-wide Ethernet architecture.
Towards developing a Secure Architecture for the Internet of Everything, I plan to kick off a series of blogs around this pivotal topic.
In discussing security and the Internet of Everything, the first question that comes to mind is, “Which segment of “everything” is one referring to?”. A reasonable approach has been to understand the common attributes that crosses vertical segments such as Intelligent Transportation, Smart Utilities, Industrial Automation and so on. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) are general abstractions for the network infrastructure that links physical and virtual objects. In Cisco, we now refer to these abstractions as the Internet of Everything, IoE. The IoE describes a world where billions of objects have sensors to detect, measure and assess their status; all connected over public or private networks using standard and proprietary protocols.
Until a point in time around 2008/2009, there were more human beings in the world than devices connected to the Internet. That is no longer the case. Read More »
When natural disasters strike, our first instincts are to phone or text loved ones; check news and social media sites; and go online to lend support. These connections become our lifelines. In the process, mobile devices become paramount in connecting people to people and people to data.
That’s why the Internet of Everything (IoE) is so critical. In the moments immediately following a disaster popular social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, serve as quick ways to locate loved ones. At the same time, social media allows those affected to inform multiple people at once that they are okay, with a simple tweet or post.
In a recent Forbes article titled “Everything Changes with the Internet of Everything,” Kevin Maney discusses how the Internet of Everything changes the way we respond in time of crisis. For example, the Google Person Finder (launched during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti) shows how the Internet can make a big difference during emergencies. People can access the site via mobile device or computer and enter into one of two portals to exchange information: “I’m looking for someone” or “I have information about someone.”
Similarly, a networked power grid can pinpoint outages, enabling faster trouble shooting and allowing fellow citizens to lend support (or even power strips, as seen during Superstorm Sandy) where needed. These connections bring communities back together.
We often talk about the power of IoE to connect the unconnected. For disaster recovery, that power is amplified. Through the Internet of Everything we can help expedite recovery and create a more efficient disaster-response effort by connecting processes, data, things and, most importantly, people. When that happens, we’re able to improve the human experience.