Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Cloud Expo

@ThingsExpo: Article

The IoT: Zettabytes Approaching

IBM's Initiative to Build 15 New Datacenters Brings Things Into Focus

"None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers." Thus said David Stockman, the then-wunderkind budget director for newly elected President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Stockman was widely ridiculed for such a rare burst of candor from a government official. He was referring to the administration's efforts to grapple with the major budget and tax reforms candidate Reagan had promised the year before.

I think it's fair enough to use these words as a basis for what's going on in the commingling worlds of Cloud Computing, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

I've promised to write about all that's happening with IoT between now and @ThingsExpo June 10-12 in New York, an event for which I serve as Conference Chair.

Zettabytes Take the Stage
But first I have to get a grip on what's going on with all these numbers.

Let's start with a prediction by CSC, the Washington, DC-area IT services provider. I'm reading one of its infographics that alleges Big Data will cause global data storage needs to increase 44 times by 2020, reaching 35 zettabytes. (It says we had .79 zettabyte under control in 2009.)

"Only" 10.5 zettabytes of the 2020 total will be generated by enterprises, according to CSC. But thanks to the cloud, 28 zettabytes will be managed by enterprises.

Break it Down
Let's break this down by imagining a zettabyte. I, for one, am still not comfortable visualizing, abstracting, or using that term. A zettabyte is 1 billion terabytes, 1 million petabytes, or 1,000 exabytes.

Yes, so take today's typical 1 terabyte personal-computing hard drive (worth about $80) and multiply that by a billion to get a single zettabyte. Now imagine storing 28 of them.

The bandwidth requirements for this amount of data will be similarly daunting. If only 1% of that data were zipping around per second, we'll more than 2 trillion gigabit connections to make it happen.

(1% of 28 zettabytes = 280 exabytes = 280 million terabytes = 280 billion gigabytes = 2.4 trillion gigabits.)

We're going to need a bigger boat.

Many Big Datacenters
When we apply the 28-zettabyte figure to datacenters, the initial calculations are equally shocking. This is a relevant calculation in the wake of the recent news that IBM plans to build 15 new datacenters at a cost of $1.2 billion.

That's $80 million per datacenter, a modest number in the datacenter world, and one which will result in an average facility encompassing about 8,000 computers, 80,000 square feet, and perhaps 0.8 exabyte of storage.

To reach 28 zettabytes, we would need only 35,000 of these datacenters in the world. Using IBM's budget for its new datacenter initiative, total cost would come in at 35,000 x $80 million, or $2.8 trillion. If, say, one quarter of them were built in the US, we'd see one every 15 miles or so driving down any road.

Oh, now we have to add about 84,000 megawatts to the electrical grid, which shouldn't require more than around 50 large power plants, whether nuclear or natural-gas. There's also the matter of water usage for cooling, to be measured in the billions of gallons per day.

Can It Happen?
Moore's Law can be expected to work its magic between now and 2020, and the good news is that storage costs have been moving on a curve steeper than Moore's Law. So in the end, these numbers may not be so eye-poppingly large.

But it's clear the global engineering challenge (and opportunity) related to cloud computing, Big Data, and the IoT is an enormous opportunity. Let's forget for a few seconds what revenue might be generated for software and services companies. Let's forget what value might be added to national economies by new business and new productivity levels.

The US Interstate Highway system was built for $400 billion in current dollars, give or take. The global Information Superhighway (yes, let's bring back that term!) is several times larger, Moore's Law notwithstanding.

But can it happen? Do we have the societal will to build this 21st century hive intelligence?

This is where our friends the politicians must eradicate their collective Anaproctocephalogical Syndrome and do some good for humanity.

The US in particular could be - could be - a leader in open, global communications by ending its "possess the haystack to find the needle" approach to spying on everybody and their brother and your Aunt Maude. Recent remarks by President Obama give me little present hope.

Because the CC/BD/IoT challenge is as much a socio-political challenge as it is an engineering and economic challenge.

Optimism, Pessimism, or Reality?
The numbers I played with here serve as a general indicator of what it is we have, unwittingly or not, set upon with our wondrous machines. The real numbers will play out over time. In any case, we are on the cusp of transformational change.

IBM's SVP of Global Technology Services Erich Clementi (pictured), writing in his blog about the company's new datacenter initiative, touts IBM's commitment to "robust global networks of datacenters."

Clementi also enthuses, "cloud computing is a fabric that will knit the entire world closer together-businesses, economies and people. A lot of good will come of it. But, first, we have to build a robust global network of cloud data centers to turn that promise into reality."

Yes, if all this data can continue to flow among borders relatively easily and peacefully (as email and website information have for some time now), there is hope for all nations of the world to improve themselves through the transformational change wrought by mobility, sensors, and the ongoing social-media revolution.

If not, if instead national firewalls become common to keep the US government out, and we end up living on a globe of re-isolated nations, then all these numbers mean less than zero. No zettabytes for you.

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.