Preparing for the internet of everything

12 March 2013 |

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Cisco has come up with a smart play on words to define the next transformation of the internet. There will be 50 billion devices connected online by 2020, predicts the vendor. The internet of plain-old-things is not going cut it anymore. The internet is going to encompass everything.

Cisco has come up with a smart play on words to define the next transformation of the internet. There will be 50 billion devices connected online by 2020, predicts the vendor. The internet of plain-old-things is not going cut it anymore. The internet is going to encompass everything.

It’s ‘internet of everything’ tagline was unveiled at Cisco Live last week in London – a three day event that attracted approximately 6,500 professionals from across the IT, networking and communications sectors. It was then repeated on-loop by the company’s small army of staff throughout the event as part of a carefully crafted marketing campaign for its Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment) portfolio.

Mobile data is estimated to grow six fold by 2015, 67% of which will be attributed to video. The era of mobile cloud is upon us, potentially transforming the market from a web economy to an application-based one. In the enterprise segment, the increasingly popular practice of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is bringing with it fresh and potentially very large security concerns. Cisco wants to make it abundantly clear that across every inch of the telecoms ecosystem, existing network technology doesn’t stand a chance of supporting the ongoing journey towards the internet of everything.

It’s answer? Well essentially Cisco is putting a new spin on the principles of software defined networking (SDN) and big data and analytics.

The ONE framework also spans the entire network stack, from physical transport all the way up to automation and orchestration functions. This it claims will allow for a more multi-dimensional view of the network for network operators, IT architects and application developers.

Such technology could eventually bring new synergies across the telecoms value chain, breaking down the boundaries which exist between network service providers, cloud, enterprise and data organisations (although ironically Cisco chose to relay this message individually through each of its individual business segments) .

It’s a fascinating and entirely plausible vision of the networks of the future, which could radically alter the business models of carriers. It is incredibly difficult, however, to gage the life cycle of next-generation network technology, and it is debatable how much the internet of things has lived up to the hype, let alone throwing that one step further to the internet of everything. Cisco’s vision therefore might be a long time coming, but it appears well worth the wait.