This article is part of our Essential Guide: A CIOs guide to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Datacentre investments needed for IoT to fulfil its potential, warns IDC

IDC warns the IoT could fail to reach its full potential unless datacentre capacity issues are addressed

The internet of things (IoT) may fall short of its promised potential without urgent investment in datacentre upgrades, new research from market watcher IDC has warned.

With billions more network-connected devices expected to emerge in the coming years, as the IoT trend takes off, datacentre operators will need to invest heavily to ensure their facilities have sufficient data capacity to cope with the influx of information these endpoints will generate.

IDC predicts the datacentre capacity consumed by IoT workloads will increase by nearly 750% between 2014 and 2019, putting pressure on facilities from a networking, storage and analytics point of view.

With IDC previously predicting that more than 90% of the data created by IoT devices will be hosted in the cloud within the next five years, it is datacentres that will feel the strain.

Rick Villars, vice-president of datacentre and cloud at IDC, said if datacentre operators fail to act the full potential of the IoT may not be realised.

Equal, or even greater, investments in the IoT platform services residing in the datacentre will be instrumental in delivering the IoT promise of any time, anywhere, any way connectivity and context,” said Villars.

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“Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the datacentre itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices,” he said.

The warning features in IDC’s Impact of internet of things on datacentre demand and operations report, which also predicts the development of hyperscale datacentres is likely to accelerate in the IoT era.

This will be prompted by companies that strive to analyse and make sense of the data generated by the plethora of network-connected devices out there in real time, but find their traditional datacentres may be ill-equipped to cope. 

“IoT will become the top driver of IT expansion in larger datacentres, speeding the transition to cloud-oriented infrastructure and data platform architectures,” Villars added.

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