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What’s driving the industrial internet? The IoT and interconnection
Tue, 13th Dec 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As the Internet of Things (IoT) takes hold across multiple industries, many of its earliest and most proactive adopters are staging a new Industrial Revolution. Coined the Industrial Internet by General Electric (GE), the term refers to the integration of complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software.

In March 2014, AT-T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel founded the Industrial Internet Consortium to catalyze and coordinate priorities and enable technologies for the Industrial Internet. Today, the IIC represents an open membership of over 250 members from 30 countries.

This week, we announced Equinix's participation in the IIC. Our objective is to help further the ability of suppliers and consumers of IoT solutions to accelerate development, adoption, and widespread use of interconnected machines and devices between intelligent analytics systems and people.

Equinix will work with the IIC and its members to offer its global data center presence and interconnection and data placement expertise to enhance the value of the IoT. Our goal is to help increase IoT access and agility for solution providers and consumers of IoT-enabled services.

Four of the top IoT concerns that organizations face today are:

  • Data Security – Where and how IoT data can be placed, engaged and protected to take advantage of multiple analytic solutions
  • Privacy and Trust – How IoT services and solutions can be controlled and monitored to ensure the confidence of its consumers.
  • Fast Experimentation – Enabling IoT data to be accessed by more users (employees, partners and customers) and systems to gain the most value from collaborative innovation.
  • Insufficient Skills – Finding the right IoT solution provider(s) to help identify known and unknown gaps in present and future business processes and IT infrastructures.

Equinix, as a leading global data center and interconnection provider, is working to address these concerns by joining the IIC to participate and engage with its membership firms on innovation, in working and task groups, and in the development of IIC reference architectures.

We see valuable commonalities between our goals and the missions of the following IIC working and task groups:

Business Strategy and Solution Lifecycle – Equinix and the IIC Business Strategy and Planning working group will help businesses identify and prioritize IIoT opportunities, analyze business requirements and contribute to enabling business use cases. IIC-based system designs and Platform Equinix™, leveraging an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy, offer best practices and methodologies for the use and implementation of the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture.

Technology Working and Task Groups – Equinix will use output from the IIC Vocabulary task group to support a standard set of terms for describing the collaboration and implementation of the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture. For example, Equinix sees the emerging adoption of “edge computing” in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) resulting in multiple use cases that will contribute to the IIC Distributed Data Management and Interoperability task group. We will continue to deploy and document those use cases with our customers.

Testbed Working Group – Equinix's unique concentration of, and direct access to, dense, vendor-neutral ecosystems of network and cloud service providers will aid in the rapid and agile development of current and future IIC testbeds. The IIC's current testbeds can also benefit from Equinix's global interconnection footprint, network and cloud density and proximity to major worldwide metros, and include the following capabilities:

  • High-speed network infrastructures
  • Time-sensitive networks
  • Security claims evaluation
  • Edge intelligence
  • Connected-vehicle urban traffic management

As the next Industrial revolution continues gaining momentum, Equinix will work with the IIC to identify how private, secure, IOA-enabled infrastructures and data placement solutions in a hybrid IoT analytics environment contribute innovation to the IIC Reference Architecture and its working and task groups. Equinix is excited to be working with the IIC and its members for the benefit of the IIoT community and consumers.

Article by Rodney Elder, Equinix blog network