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IoT’s impact on data center management

October 05, 2020

IoT’s impact on data center management
IoT is hot right now—with companies in a broad range of industries employing an ever-increasing number of IoT devices to improve business processes and strategic insights. By the end of 2020, the world will see approximately 2 billion IoT devices online.
But the addition of these new devices to corporate networks is putting new demands on data centers. The challenge: how to manage the reams of new data these devices collect. Addressing this challenge will require significant increases in processing power, bandwidth and server blades. Here are some ways data centers can manage the onslaught of IoT devices and data.
Rethinking IoT architecture
Rohit Mehra, vice president of network functionality and deployment models at IDC, sees IoT as having a holistic impact on IT infrastructure since it covers a huge range of functionality and deployment models. This will require data center managers to look at all aspects of their architecture, including servers, storage, networking and security, as well as systems management including APM/NPM and associated analytics.

The steady stream of data delivered by IoT is going to require resources that move into immediate, real-time space and have the ability to scale up quickly by pairing existing extra space with dynamic capacity. It will be essential to have additional bandwidth readily available, along with a partner or service that can be relied on to scale up access as needed.
Data center managers will have to decide which parts of a given workload will reside in the public cloud, what will be handled at the edge and what will be managed in-house at the data center. IDC estimates about 45% of data produced by IoT will be stored, processed and analyzed by edge computing, which will help optimize data center workflow—with less data flowing into the center.
Managing security
The introduction of IoT devices to a network means more touchpoints and endpoints that need to be secured—a challenge made more complicated by BYOD policies that allow workers to use their own devices at work. Data centers will need to have strong governance in place to detect and determine which devices are accessing the network and how to classify and respond to them.
More than merely being able to scale up with increased bandwidth, faster services and smarter tools, data centers will need to make monitoring and managing network traffic a top priority, especially at the edge of the network where many IoT devices are going to live—even if it involves investing in additional technology and personnel.
Using IoT for data center management
Many data centers are now looking at ways to automate routine tasks such as monitoring, scheduling, updating and patching in an effort to free up personnel to focus on higher level issues and IT strategy. Through the use of algorithmically managed IoT devices, these routine functions can be handled remotely, without using excessive amounts of energy—a critical step toward creating the green data center.
So, while IoT is creating new demands on the data center, it’s also providing a solution to help address them.
To learn more about IoT and data center management, contact our data center experts, Samuel Alt at samuel.alt@ingrammicro.com or Nick Vermiglio at nick.vermiglio@ingrammicro.com.