Imagine Internet telling its origin story. It explains how the initial version of the internet figured out an ingenious way to connect multiple servers distributed across the world to communicate in a decentralized way. Through it, people separated by thousands of miles of land and, were able to interact with one another and share information. Thus, cloud computing came into being; and over the years, the level of exponential growth it has seen has been phenomenal.
Now we are entering into a new era of connectivity, with IoT and Big Data as the leading horses of the revolution. However, what we often forget is the land on which they travel: it’s made of Cloud.
A Web in the Clouds
The Cloud is a way of storing, processing, retrieving and distributing real data, software and applications, virtually. The most pertinent example of the cloud is Dropbox, which is essentially a virtual space where people can keep all sorts of files and applications to retrieve and use at a later date. They can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Interestingly, even before cloud was popularized as the backbone of agile businesses, most of us were using it. Remember Yahoo! Mail?
Nowadays, not only people but organizations and governments use the cloud to transfer sensitive information and other data across the globe. Improvements in its architecture and security have laid the foundations for making the practical use of big data and IoT possible in recent years.
Big Data and IoT
1. Big Data
Big Data is quite the buzzword nowadays. It is basically the huge amounts of data that is being collected as organizations monitor and track data, both internally (employees and processes) and externally (consumer interaction). The data includes a variety of data sets, such as the users’ information, their likes, dislikes, habits, shopping habits and much more.
Big Data has always been a part of the internet game, but became prominent as more people became connected to, and frequently accessed the internet. It is only recently that organizations and individuals have got a sneak peek at its true potential. However, mining the Big Data is not easy. The sophisticated machinery and software to collect, process and analyze the enormous amounts of data available was not available until recently. With the establishment of Cloud, and the idea of leveraging cloud-based analytics, access to Big Data analytics for organizations (large or small) has been democratized to a great extent.
However, before all this was possible, cloud tests and development had begun on private clouds by IT professionals for obvious safety reasons. Public clouds wanted part of the action and soon joined. Interest in big data developed and software such as Hadoop came into being. The state of big data, as we know it today, was only possible by companies who provided big data to businesses and other groups of individuals. They were the ones who fueled the fire to bump the use of big data all the way to eleven.
2. Enter IoT
IoT seeks to have seamless integration of electronic devices and create a system of inter-connected sensory information to give real time feedback, much like the neurons in our brain do for our limbs and organs. It is not unheard of phenomenon. Companies with a lot of financial oomph like NASA were using it in their exploratory probes and telescopes to monitor extraterrestrial activity and search for signs of life on other worlds and send information back to the earth.
IoT is no longer a part of fiction from Star Trek, and has become a reality. It is not a question of “if” but “when” it will make its true impact on the lives of individuals and businesses alike. A lot of research and development has gone towards incorporating IoT into everyday appliances and equipment such as heart sensors, cell phones, laptops, security locks, refrigerators, washing machines, ACs and even cars, making them a reality for us.
With the use of advanced learning systems, data collection and processing hardware made possible through the Cloud; are IoT devices going to become part of our daily lives? It’s only a matter of time.
In conclusion, Big Data and IoT would not be possible had it not been for the foundations and ground work laid by the cloud. So a big Thank you is in order.