The booming Internet of Things (IoT) market will likely have a transformational effect on data centres, according to a new report.
The study by Gartner highlights a number of areas where data centres may face challenges as a result of IoT, including security, consumer privacy, data management, networking, and server technology.
Security is a growing concern in the industry, and the increasing digitisation and automation of various devices in many different urban environments is likely to create new security issues. When coupled with the enterprise sector, where increasing volumes of big data present their own security challenges, it is not difficult to see that this will be a top priority.
Tied to security is the issue of consumer privacy, which is in the consumer consciousness now more than ever. The widespread adoption of smart devices means that more data is being collected on people than before, and any breaches in security will have a knock-on effect on privacy.
While demand for higher capacity storage has always been there, the IoT accelerates this by producing ever-increasing volumes of data, both on the consumer and enterprise ends. Storage makers will be under pressure to keep up.
Linked with storage is the need for improved server technology, primarily in the vertical sector, as well as improvements to Wide Area Networks, which will be strained by skyrocketing bandwidth usage.
Of course, many of these challenges are also major opportunities. Security firms, networking firms, storage companies, and server manufacturers all stand to benefit from providing the back-end technology that supports the IoT infrastructure.
Gartner predicts that the IoT market will grow to 26 billion units by 2020, with incremental revenue for IoT product and service suppliers exceeding $300 billion (£180 billion, AU$330 billion).
"IoT deployments will generate large quantities of data that need to be processed and analyzed in real time," said Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner. "Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase as a proportion of workloads of data centers, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges."
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