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Storage and networking for the IoT

IoT data streams can be incredibly valuable, but they can also tax on-premises datacenter resources. Here's how cloud can help your operation scale for IoT processing.

Welcome to the Internet of Things. Let's paint the ideal picture of where you are at this point. You have taken the time to create a fully integrated network for your entire organization. Every enabled piece of hardware, embedded device, appliance, and mobile device is part of your IoT landscape.

You have set up a custom security gatekeeper that monitors all entry points and enforces a strict compliance model for device access. No new device is allowed in without complete authorization and approval. Your notification system can report accurate inventory, asset management, as well as security audits for the entire organization. You can also create an ad-hoc report on any device that is part of the IoT organization. Ideal, right?

Any architect or specialist in the field will tell you that this picture is not just unrealistic; it's also a moving target.

IoT creates an epicenter of information between all devices. When we consider a large company, the aggregated data streams from your devices could easily accumulate over a terabyte of data - and that's assuming you're collecting it. Data streams of this volume could definitely stretch the capacity of a data center. Consider that the growth of the IoT is very fluid and a could easily overburden your on-premises or even cloud-based solutions. So let's take a moment to review the basics.

IoT storage: What to look for

Fortunately, when we consider storage options, there are vendors poised to assist. Although this list in not all-inclusive, it is a good starting point. So, what should we be looking for?

Your storage system needs the ability multitask by handling input from multiple devices.

With data being collected from mobile and stationary devices in simultaneous streams, the storage needs to be able to perform optimally and without delays.

Your storage system needs to have the bandwidth for various types of data.

Data comes in various forms. Video, images, or audio can bog down network connections. Security systems within a company may be transmitting surveillance footage over the wire, for example, so bandwidth is a critical consideration.

Data needs to be easily retrieved.

The storage solution needs to support rapid retrieval, plus analytics. Although the topic of this discussion is not big data, you will need to consider analytics frameworks as you design your storage solution.

Leverage new storage technologies to keep costs down.

Hadoop File System (HDFS) has a small footprint, but strong support for clustering. Hadoop separates files into large blocks and distributes them across nodes in a cluster. The benefit of this solution is that you can use commoditized hardware. Whether you are using on-premises resources or you have selected a cloud solution, you will be able to utilize inexpensive server storage.

Make sure your storage solution can scale.

IoT-based data can accumulate very quickly. Your solution must scale rapidly with minimal impact on performance. It is impossible to say that growth will not impact a system but in this case, we would like to clarify by saying we want to avoid a noticeable impact.

Select a vendor that can manage the capacity and growth.

The current business model for most IT organizations is lean. Large amounts of unmanaged data are not ideal or any organization. The selected storage solution needs to manage all of the data and avoid being spread across multiple vendors.

Object storage can be a viable solution for IoT data.

Object Storage architecture manages data as objects. It can handle high file object counts, works well with Hadoop, and can serve as the back-end storage framework.

Cloud-based IoT storage

Microsoft Azure meets the objectives listed above by providing a secure, customizable storage platform that incorporates on-premises and cloud resources, as needed. From easy migration to multiple storage options, Microsoft provides a complete solution set for companies that want to leverage IoT at scale. Do you need to merge structured and unstructured data and figure out how to tie in legacy applications? No problem. Head over to Azure Storage Services, and you'll find a comprehensive overview.

There is a lot to consider when selecting a storage solution for an IoT implementation. Microsoft's Azure Storage Services can provide a smart and cost-effective method to store and retrieve your IoT data. Because storage continues to grow and change, it's best not to consider any solution as permanent. That's why it's wisest to pick a cloud-based solution that can keep up with all of the changing needs of a growing business.For more information visit Azure Storage to see pricing and storage options.

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