The Connection Between Cloud Hosting & the IoT

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The Internet of Things is beginning to change our lives in numerous ways. Certainly elements of greater efficiency and convenience will be introduced by the IoT; however, there is a price to pay.


With the IoT generating a massive volume of data, the infrastructure must somehow match pace. Companies need to have the right hardware in place, with reliable data centers to house them, if they want to alleviate their data growth pain. Cloud is helpful in terms of allowing IoT devices to work in coordination.


Scope of the IoT


Cloud hosting is needed in part due to the data demands of a fast-growing IoT. According to a market forecast from business analyst the International Data Corporation (IDC), global revenue for the IoT is predicted to rise from $674 billion in 2017 to $772.5 billion in 2018, a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR); the firm expects IoT spending to rise at 14% from 2017 through 2021, at which point it will have achieved a $1.1 trillion scope.


All this growth is an indication of an increasing number of connected devices. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study predicted that there would be 28 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Gartner researchers suggest the number will be a bit higher by that point, at 33 billion.


Relationship between cloud & IoT


The majority of new electronic devices have cloud-hosted systems that help them to function. The cloud elements are becoming more integral both to the technology and to its ecosystem. Cloud is expected.


Users of devices think that what they buy will be connected to the Internet. People want all aspects of their surroundings, increasingly, to be interconnected – and that integration is enabled by cloud servers. Manufacturers of these devices “understood early on that it does not make sense to keep all the smarts and storage in the device itself,” explained David Linthicum, who added that companies also wanted ways to seamlessly and immediately apply system-wide updates.


The same basic model – IoT devices run on cloud servers – is used for your smartphone updates and TV service, and it’s increasingly how your thermostat and car will run as well.


There are challenges that arise from this more connected IoT era we are entering. Security is the most obvious. While it may not be quite so troubling a thought to have your TV hacked, it is not something you want to happen to your vehicle. Security has often not been prioritized sufficiently by those who manufacture IoT devices. There are bound to be numerous security events in the field within systems in which data protection has not been at the forefront. (For instance, manufacturers have not always demanded that their data be stored in facilities that meet the American Institute of CPA’s SSAE 16 / 18 service controls standard.)


We are now experiencing a huge expansion in cloud services for devices; more use of compute and storage that runs the devices (i.e., cloud hosting or infrastructure as a service); and we’ll get stronger networks, such as cellular networks that are nearly as fast as home networks.


To get a sense of how the Internet of Things is growing, look no further than your own home Wi-Fi and its number of connected devices; there are numerous applications in business that make the same case for its expansion. The rise of the IoT cannot occur without cloud services to back it. Plus, since connected devices are becoming so much more widely used both in personal and business settings, the use of cloud systems will only further proliferate.


What’s the difference between cloud and the IOT?


Cloud computing is the technology that allows for virtual distributed computing – delivery of reliable and scalable resources unconfined by specific hardware (rather, supported by a technological structure that incorporates numerous computers). There are three models of cloud, software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). In SaaS, applications are run in an off-premises cloud system; in PaaS, the cloud contains the tools and building blocks to create cloud apps; and in IaaS, the provider supplies data center space, networking, storage, and servers – the infrastructure for a project – with full maintenance built into the relationship.


Those models of cloud have to do with the IT service that is being provided. Cloud is also separated into three types, which are ways of describing how isolated the environment is to one entity’s use — public, private, and hybrid. In a public cloud, software, storage, or infrastructure are provided by an independent party through the Internet. This type is the standard version of cloud. Private cloud is the same notion as an on-premises system (in which all equipment is for an individual company’s use) but with automation and virtualization that allows the environment to have cloud characteristics. Private clouds can be hosted in an on-premise datacenter or by a third party. Hybrid cloud is an integrated blend of private and public clouds.


In contrast to cloud, which is a technology with all those broad applications, the IoT has to do with Internet-connection of any objects (beyond the standard devices such as personal computers and smartphones). Examples of IoT devices are refrigerators, thermostats, automobiles, and heart monitors. Additional devices are joining the IoT all the time as the sector continues to boom.


While the scope and focus of the IoT and cloud are certainly distinct, they have roles to play that are intertwined in a world of ever-growing data.


Why cloud is essential to powering the Internet of Things


Cloud and the IoT have a complementary relationship that enhances efficiency, noted Andrew Meola in Business Insider. “The IoT generates massive amounts of data,” he explained, “and cloud computing provides a pathway for that data to travel to its destination.”


Here are some of the benefits of cloud computing from Information Age:


  • There are fewer operational challenges with cloud. While cloud may seem to have complexity that is sure to give rise to problems, it is in fact simpler to handle than other infrastructural approaches. The cloud operates through its own hardware via a service that has the sole concern of making the cloud work correctly and without snags, typically yielding better reliability than with an on-site server.
  • It’s less expensive to run long-term. You are able to cut your costs. You don’t need IT personnel to maintain your infrastructure, for instance.
  • It’s easier to get running short-term. It is difficult for a startup to work with the small amount of money at its disposal. Servers can be expensive, so it helps to get them instead as-a-service.
  • Cloud is more sustainable. Using cloud architecture means that you do not need as much physical hardware, since there is less underutilization of resources.
  • The security is stronger with cloud. You have better data protection with cloud than you do in a local environment. You are not going to lose your information because of a component failure or because of an extreme weather event.


Your IoT cloud


Cloud computing and the Internet of Things will work together to change the way that we handle huge volumes of data in the years ahead. Any IoT project requires strong cloud hosting so that it has the infrastructure that delivers all the next-gen promises of reliability, availability, and scalability. At Total Server Solutions, we offer the fastest, most robust cloud platform in the industry. Build your IoT cloud now.