The 6 Million Devices Man
A few years ago, when I was setting up my home Wi-Fi network, I was thinking of how many connected devices I should configure it for. We were 4 in the house, only 2 having a computer. I took a bit of margin when we invite people, and I configured it for a comfortable maximum of 5 devices 🙂 It only took a few years for this number to explode. First everyone had a computer, and then people started to have a laptop in addition to their desktop. You already know what happened next. Wi-Fi Phones, tablets, …
As you also know connected devices are not limited to personal devices. For example I now have 4 IP addresses used just by the security cameras I set up last year. And my DHCP range is now set to 255. It may seem like it leaves plenty of room, but guess what: 255 will sound ridiculous in just a few years. This connected light seems fun, people will probably want this nice smart fridge and we all love checking and controlling our home remotely.
A funny story (well, geek-funny to be more accurate 🙂 is related to the HTTP Error 418. The engineers actually wrote a specification back in 1998 about a protocol for controlling, monitoring, and diagnosing coffee pots. It was a joke, but now people are actually connecting Tea Pots !
Earth and Beyond
So what is happening? The network of connected things is exploding on Earth and beyond. We can receive tweets live from the International Space Station while driving to work!
It is very interesting to notice, when the Internet Protocol was designed (IP), it allowed for a maximum of 4.3 Billion devices. The Internet, at the time, was for government agencies and universities. A niche network for a well targeted usage. We would never have any issues with lack of addresses. At least that’s what they thought!
What they didn’t know is that they had set up the ground for a new age. A world where everything can be connected to anything, a world where you don’t need to remember things, all the information you ever need can be stored. (And maybe your memories as well in a distant future?)
From mainframes with emails to Google glass with HD cat videos
Many companies and government agencies are in the process of switching to the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IPV6). With it, don’t worry about lack of addresses (for now 🙂 each human on earth in 2050 could have about 40 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 devices. This number is so big, you can see it another way. It allows us to cover every square meter of Earth (10 ft²) with more than 6000 connected things !
I see the Internet as a Giant organism. Internet is the blood circulation system. It brings data packets from one point to another. We keep adding new organs dedicated to new usages people had not thought about. Some popular ones are the web, Voice/Video, On-Demand Resources, and Home automation. But all those usages generates or requires input data.
Can you put the Internet onto this blank CD ? (heard a few years ago at a retail store 🙂 )
To give you an idea of data growth, Andreas Weigend (Director, Stanford Social Data Labs) mentioned: “In 2011 we created more data than since the beginning of mankind to the end of 2010. Competing in business will take more than being good at collecting and processing Big Data.”
Many years ago, I remember having to split a file into different bits so that it would fit on 3 floppy disk. Now I have about 40 000 times more storage just on my phone! So what do we do now to manage this incredible set of data? Obviously, the first part is to store it. That’s the easy part. But how can we make sense of so much information created so quickly, and extract relevant and valuable information?
Taking up the challenge
This is where SAP tools and technologies come into play. We help you store, process, retrieve and analyze an incredible amount of data. We also have technologies for device management. We even have a “100 000x Club” of customers who are now doing some tasks 100 000 times faster than before. They were running big analysis during the weekend, now they have a response in seconds. This is thanks to the “SAP HANA” In-Memory database. This is our way forward. Our friends from Samsung could say, “The next best thing is already here”!
Internally, we migrate more and more of our tools. I have to say from what I have seen this is one of the SAP products with the biggest momentum. It keeps getting better. I was speechless when I first saw a presentation about SAP River for HANA. It is exactly what the developer needs to get started quickly and have something very robust and flexible at the same time.
To make sense of this data, we have a wide range of Business Intelligence and Visualization technologies to fit your needs, including SAP Lumira Cloud and Predictive Analytics. The latter allows you to take the next step: anticipate things and identify new opportunities.
Finally, for device management, we have SAP Afaria, which we internally and many of our customers use to manage a fleet of employee mobile devices.
I wish you to find the best solution for your business needs on those challenging topics. I am confident you or your company would benefit from what SAP has to offer.
Visit www.sap.com/mobileinnovation and learn how to achieve your business objectives.