6-10-2010 Thursday – The Internet of Things

Once again browsing through the NYT I stumbled upon a site, ReadWriteWeb.com, this site is perhaps a bit too technical for some but I am particularly enamored with the “Internet of Things” section.

Between the ReadWriteWeb and Brookings institution I have a lot of reading to do…maybe I do need an iPad!!!…It wouldn’t hurt to do some of this reading with a ‘lean-back’ technology versus a ‘lean-forward’ technology…my Nook is NOT the device for this kind of reading…

Richard MacManus (Founder and Editor in Chief of ReadWriteWeb) has written a series of articles on the ‘Coming Data Explosion’

  1. The Coming Data Explosion
  2. Why HP Thinks Sensors Will Lead to The Next Big Wave of Computing
  3. Data Explosion: Analytics Software Must Adapt or Die

The last one is quite superficial but interesting to me as an analyst…I would take exception to the quote “business intelligence [BI] systems have not changed much in the last 20 years”…I would agree that BI is a term/acronym thrown about a little too loosely.  As an example,  just this past week on LinkedIn, I participated in a question posted to the Business Intelligence Professionals Group – “My quest for understanding Business Intelligence” – which has quite a few disparate responses…but I digress…

To quote from article 1 above:

One of the key aspects of the emerging Internet of Things – where real-world objects are connected to the Internet – is the massive amount of new data on the Web that will result. As more and more “things” in the world are connected to the Internet, it follows that more data will be uploaded to and downloaded from the cloud. And this is in addition to the burgeoning amount of user-generated content – which has increased 15-fold over the past few years, according to a presentation that Google VP Marissa Mayer made last August at Xerox PARC. Mayer said during her presentation that this “data explosion is bigger than Moore’s law.”

Also, at the end of 2009 there were 281 exabytes of data online data.

Now, let’s see if can appreciate what an exabyte is:

  • 1,000 bytes           1 Kb (kilo-byte)
  • 1,000 Kb                 1 Mb (mega-byte)
  • 1,000 Mb                1 Gb  (giga-byte)
  • 1,000 Gb                  1 Tb (tera-byte)

These are ‘quantities’ of data we are most familiar with…the Terabyte being 1,000,000,000,000 bytes; typically a set of eight 0’s and 1’s, e.g. 10001110, is a byte.

Now, to get a ‘feel’ for an exabyte, which is a million terabytes, I went to Wikipedia:

The word exabyte is the basis for the term exaflood, a neologism created by Bret Swanson of the Discovery Institute in a January 2007 Wall Street Journal editorial.[21] Exaflood refers to the rapidly increasing torrent of data transmitted over the Internet. The amount of information people upload, download and share on the Internet—known as internet traffic—is growing (due in large part to video, audio and photo applications) at an exponential rate, while the capacity of the Internet, its bandwidth, is limited and susceptible to a “flood” of data equal to multiple exabytes. “One exabyte is the equivalent of about 50,000 years of DVD quality video.”[22]

The article claims that in the next four years more data will be created than in the history of the planet.  That’s quite a claim.


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