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Small Computer, Big Opportunity: The Moore’s Law Phenomenon

If you’re like me, you probably remember the days when computers meant oversized monitors, loud, humming power supplies, and more cables than you knew what to do with. Thanks to Moore’s Law, those days are long gone. With devices getting less costly, smaller, and capable of more efficient computing power, people and businesses of today and tomorrow have more opportunity to connect to the Internet of Everything (IoE).

IoE

Take the Raspberry Pi, for example. This low-cost computer was developed to provide computer science learning experiences for children around the world. For $35, the device features USB ports for a keyboard and mouse and an HDMI port to hook up to a monitor. The Raspberry Pi Foundation officially launched the device in February 2012. By September, more than half a million had been sold, and thousands were being manufactured each day, making computing accessible to everyone.

But even more interesting, when the Raspberry Pi went on sale, hackers and experimenters ordered them by the handful to create special purpose applications. They dedicated a whole low-cost computer to the task and moved the computing function to the edge of the network, shifting how we solve the computing problem. So again, we now have another Moore’s Law phenomena. As computers get smaller, more energy efficient, and less expensive, it causes us to rethink where we put the computing in the network and whether it is centralized or at the edge. Moore’s Law enables this natural progression, allowing us to recentralize through the web and distribute through the cloud.

The Nest Thermostat demonstrates a great example of this. Through a combination of sensors, algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing, Nest learns behaviors and preferences and begins to adjust the temperature up or down. It can be controlled from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and it starts to recognize your preferences, automatically adjusting faster and faster and becoming more and more efficient. You have an entire computer (thermostat) on the wall, a classic convergence of more and more things being connected.

This, in turn, changes what’s happening in the data center and the cloud, because having more entry points enables us to connect more things. Sensor technology is also being affected, becoming smaller and less expensive. Texas Instruments now makes a chip that runs an IPv6 stack for connectivity, has built-in wireless, and only costs ninety-nine cents. Moore’s Law has led to a low-powered, low-cost chip, giving us yet another opportunity to rethink and innovate the use of computing.

With these growing ubiquitous opportunities, we can connect more and learn more. As more devices are added to the network, the power and potential for what they will make possible will continue to grow exponentially. Anything you can measure will be measured. Anything you can sense will be sensed. It’s an economical model making the case to be measured for nearly no cost. This shift will help connect the 99 percent of things that are still unconnected in the world, creating real value for the IoE.

How will the amazing possibilities enabled by the IoE affect you? I’d love to know your thoughts. Send me a tweet @JimGrubb.

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Demystifying IPv6

Version 6 of the Internet protocol (IPv6) is a key enabler of the Internet of Everything (IoE). People, data, and things all need IP addresses to connect to the Internet. But we’ve already run out of IP addresses under IPv4, which dictates almost all (98.5 percent) of Internet traffic today. Even with all of the attention IPv6 has received, confusion and misinformation abound.

I’m extremely pleased to have Mark Townsley, Cisco Fellow and recognized industry expert on IP, explore IPv6 over a series of three blogs.

In these posts, Mark will demystify IPv6, discuss how to best make the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, and take a look “under the hood” of IP so that companies and industries can get the most value from IoE. Read More »

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The 2017 Internet: A Look at the Future, Courtesy of the Cisco VNI Forecast

Visualize this: nearly half the Earth’s population – 3.6 billion people – connected to the Internet for communication, commerce, education, information, and entertainment.  Think that’s too futuristic? Think again. By 2017, less than five years from today, that will be our reality.

This prediction is one of several key findings from the newly released Cisco Visual Networking Index, 2012-2017, a highly regarded annual forecast of global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic now in its seventh year.

Let’s explore further the Internet of 2017, as projected by the updated VNI Forecast.

By 2017, IP traffic volumes and regional growth will continue to impress: Read More »

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Setting Up an IPv6 Testing Plan

In my previous blog, I talked about building out a lab to help with IPv6 integration testing.  It cannot be understated how important it is to test any new feature that is going to be deployed on the network.  This statement is true independent of the feature involved.  In this case, we are talking about IPv6, but we could just as easily be talking about virtualization or BYOD.

So now that we have the lab build up in progress, what’s next?  Read More »

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Summary: Securing the Internet of Everything: An Introduction

I recently kicked off a series about security and the Internet of Everything, a pivotal topic that starts with the roots of IoE, IoT and M2M, which I explore in more depth in the first post.

Machine-to-Machine connections make up a huge portion of the Internet of Things, both general concepts for the network infrastructures that link physical and virtual objects. These abstractions come together on IoE, making it possible for devices to orchestrate and manage the world we live in, as they become connected entities themselves.

But to fully discuss security on the Internet of Everything, we must first go back to the roots of IoE itself. The technology innovations that employ M2M and IoT were actually spun off from military and industrial supply chain applications. As IP became a more common communication protocol, IoT gained more traction, helped even more by the creation of IPv6 and other advancements in wireless technology. As ever-increasing data is captured and distributed on these networks, more intelligence is generated.

Read my full “Securing the Internet of Everything: An Introduction” blog post to learn more about this embedded intelligence that is a core architectural component of IoT, and how it informs the security for the Internet of Everything itself. And stay tuned! I have more for you to come in this series, including a look into IoE security framework.

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