Top 5 Ways for Improving IoT Scalability & Eliminating Challenges
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of internet-connected electronic gadgets capable of transmitting and processing data via embedded sensors. At present, the IoT technology framework has been adopted by many industries over the past couple of years. After incorporating IoT as part of their system operation, the benefits to an organization helps to know what’s happening, rather than assuming it. In addition, it benefits in acquiring heaps of data that is important for analytics and AI systems to uncover previously recognized behavior or usage patterns.
Over the years, the merger of IoT with trending technology stacks such as AI and Big Data have been slightly overwhelming. Furthermore, the count of linked IoT devices is quickly rising, thereby necessitating improvements in scalability, one of the most crucial features of IoT.
What Do You Understand by IoT Scalability?
A recent research report recorded the global IoT market size at USD 308.97 billion in 2020. With the growing acceptance of IoT devices across multiple industry verticals like healthcare, education, logistics, banking, and home entertainment, market statistics showcase promising projected growth from USD 381.30 billion in 2021 to USD 1,854.76 billion in 2028. This data highlights the aggravated use of IoT devices and technology that needs timely enhancement with increased users, features, and appliances.
While planning an IoT-based infrastructure involves a lot of considerations and details which can be scaled. According to most people, scaling up means upgrading their devices or servers. However, there is a lot to consider to fulfill the growing demand. For example:
- The development of tools should be brought into practice to aid system administrators in carrying out routine processes using thousands of devices.
- The level of monitoring must scale with the growth in the number of devices. This is suitable for shooting an alert to investigate looming issues such as malicious attacks targeting the IoT infrastructure.
Scalability highlights the system's capacity to manage an increasing volume of work by increasing resources. But, to be honest, this acts as an obstacle for many developers due to IoT-specific challenges. Furthermore, if such concerns are not addressed early, they might take the shape of serious risks that hamper higher maintenance durations and network latency.
Techniques for Improving IoT Scalability
Keeping aside the technical jargon, IoT applications and networks require constant enhancement, which was already addressed in the previous section. Some of the approaches listed below can assist IoT initiatives in achieving real success and long-term scalability.
Define a Precise Business Objective
It is recommended that organizations set a definite business objective before bringing in the technology to fuel their success engine. For example, an IoT project's goal might be targeted at improving equipment maintenance. The maintenance crew would require software or a method to determine what sort of equipment needs repair, what machine it is, and where. On the contrary, the practice of organizations putting in efforts to collect data and anticipating insights for preparing an optimization process is a washout plan that might not guarantee victory at scalable IoT implementation.
IoT Maturity Model
The concept of IoT maturity highlights how IoT implementation is achieved in terms of fulfilling various objectives. Various facilities or divisions within a company may be at different stages of technology adoption. Some facilities may have staff who choose to utilize IoT data and already have the necessary equipment, while others may have analog equipment and inexperienced people with IoT. In organizations where IT admins initiate IoT implementation, the scaling-up process depends on the maturity of the designated department.
Better Discipline with IoT Data Pipeline
The increased volume of data created by IoT devices necessitates a large, low-latency data pipeline with simple control. This facilitates the ease of drawing insights which can later be fed for carrying out artificial intelligence algorithms.
The act of scaling up to incorporate a more significant number of devices needs data pipelines that can manage abrupt data spikes. The bandwidth of the data pipeline would be determined by the number of concurrently connected devices and data streams. Adjustments to the previously mentioned factors would be possible if the data pipeline could be adequately controlled. The channel must use the appropriate message queues, stream compute functions, and service endpoints.
You can view an IoT system as a jumble of disparate components and technology. Because of this diversity, interoperability is a must for IoT scalability to avoid being stuck with an outdated system that can't keep up with innovation in the future. Hence, you can prevent fragmentation and lower the implementation costs of your IoT project by building interoperable architecture from the start.
Technological standards in the current world are aligned to promote horizontal interoperability by enabling worldwide cross-vendor support via strong and uniform technology specifications. Whereas for vertical interoperability, open messaging protocols and flexible APIs serve as the glue that binds the edge network to a variety of value-generating backend applications. You may also extend your IoT implementation across geographies and summarize data across premises using these open APIs.
Finally, while designing a scalable infrastructure, consider what is known as Fog Computing. It is a specific phrase that refers to IoT systems that perform the computational task at the edge or intermediary stages. This is opposite to the traditional paradigm in which the work is performed by a central cluster of servers or cloud services.
The goodness of Fog Computing can be understood through its natural quality of scaling as per the amount of computing required within the IoT arrangement. Keeping this in mind at an early stage of IoT infrastructure design, the selection of adequately sized hardware and the activation of Over-the-Air (OTA) updates can assist developers with the ability to scale the operation correctly.
If you want to scale up your IoT infrastructure and apps, it's a good idea to start with well-defined roadmaps. It is useful to eliminate the challenges for developers and testers who are part of the IoT ecosystem. Although the five methods mentioned above are not the only ultimate techniques, they may serve as a good starting point for avoiding typical IoT scalability difficulties and designing an infrastructure that can scale with your organization’s IoT needs.
When we speak about the Internet of Things (IoT), what comes to your mind? Smart watches? Smart devices? Home Assistants like Alexa by Amazon? You're on the right track! ... continue reading