We may accept that the internet of things will become commonplace in the next few years, but how do we build out the network and processing required to support it?
The network is probably the most important (and is definitely the most expensive) element of the internet of things infrastructure, but another ongoing debate is about where the information collected by the thousands (millions?) of sensors we’ll connect will be turned into action or aggregated to form meaningful insight. Namely, will the processing happen in the cloud, or will it happen locally?
Wael Diab, senior technical director at Broadcom’s infrastructure and networking group, noted that the pendulum has swung back and forth between centralized and distributed processing since the mainframe. But what’s worth noting about the internet of things is that there will need to be both — and where the processing takes place will be dynamic depending on several factors.
For example, if the promise of a truly universal internet of things ever occurs (as opposed to siloed areas of connectivity in the medical space, the home, the car etc) then devices might send certain types of data to a local hub in a medical or automotive setting because it’s more secure or cheaper, but take advantage of the cloud and wireline broadband in the home or work setting.