IoT, AR and AI – How this year’s CES announcements will affect IT infrastructure in 2018

As adoption of these technologies continues, enterprises will look for new ways to direct traffic from users, automate routing decisions and provide an always-on, secure connection.

fractal framework pipes
HypnoArt (CC0)

The latest and greatest innovation in tech was on display this month at CES, with top brands showing off the newest, hottest gadgets, appliances and machines. Where in years past we’ve seen the introduction of IoT devices or smart assistant capabilities, this year we saw the convergence of IoT, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, with Alexa-enabled smart mirrors, new AR headsets with smart assistants and connected ovens. What’s more - Samsung vowed again that all their products with be IOT compatible by 2020. These AI-enabled connected devices, along with the rise in augmented reality, require significant data and computing capabilities. Their introduction and adoption will drive the need for real-time computation to the edges of the internet, which will decentralize enterprise cloud deployments. DNS solutions that offer intelligent traffic management and high velocity automation will enable organizations to deliver the user experience expected for these technologies.

IoT in a BIND

Many predict this will be the year IoT moves from evaluation to full scale deployment. Analysts at 451 Group predict there will be 10 billion IoT devices globally by 2020. Yet today, IoT deployments are only collecting about half of the data captured by sensors, and are only analyzing about half of what is collected. So, what happens as adoption and usage of IoT devices becomes more widespread?

As more technology processes become integrated with IoT, IT teams will be even more challenged to keep up with this data -- not to mention the potential for serious disruption if these devices are not properly secured. This increase of IoT data will put even more demands on DNS infrastructure. The legacy DNS solutions based on BIND and derivatives will be unable to keep up with the real-time requirements of IoT applications, which will rely upon high velocity, real-time traffic management to enable edge computing strategies that slash latency. For example, there are serious implications for a connected car waiting on a server in another state to make a computation surrounding when to turn, or an insulin port that meets lag when a patient’s blood sugar level drops to near seizure levels - even 200 milliseconds of latency is too slow.

The solution to this distributed architecture model will be that enterprises move computing and data centers closer to the IoT devices at the edge. In turn, enterprises will increasingly rely on DNS technologies that include intelligent traffic management to direct workload across such highly distributed edge architectures to make real-time, intelligent routing decisions, and minimize latency for users.

The second infrastructure concern surrounding IoT devices is that the majority of them are long lived, but not generally updatable from a security perspective. To connect to and receive their cloud services, IoT devices need a domain that is trusted, secure and guaranteed for long periods of time. It will be critical for these devices to leverage best in class DDoS resistant DNS and IT infrastructure to ensure the domains they are connecting to are online and secure.

The new IT requirements for augmented reality

Although augmented reality solutions are not yet pervasive, AT&T plans to launch an edge computing test zone in Silicon Valley ensuring that augmented reality is set to become “the next big thing.” AR solutions already exist to assist with parallel parking, to create virtual show rooms in retail, or simply to entertain with games. We are experiencing the ultimate technology integration: ourselves.

In the future, interfaces will become more invisible as their form factor is refined. Simultaneously, more innovative uses of AR will emerge. The reality of these improvements and AR in general, is that it requires substantial computing and graphics processing from smartphones and other connected devices, which can quickly drain a battery. As a necessity, processing will shift to the cloud to minimize power consumption on the endpoint. In addition to edge computing, next-generation DNS solutions will offer intelligent routing to ensure augmented reality apps are interacting with the cloud through the highest bandwidth and lowest latency cloud facilities for every user, optimizing performance and ensuring a seamless customer experience. 

Artificial intelligence will ‘terminate’ tedious manual tasks

Fears of artificial intelligence, as of yet, seem overblown. Don’t expect to do battle with killer robots any time soon. As for the more pedestrian fear of job loss, McKinsey research indicates that automation, a major trend accelerated by the adoption of AI technologies, won’t have a significant impact on job loss for more than a decade. What’s more likely, according to the firm, is that AI and automation will transform jobs into new ones.

In the meantime, organizations that embrace automation will realize a competitive advantage over organizations manually executing repetitive processes. A WorkMarket report indicates as much as three hours of work per day could be automated, enabling organizations to focus on more creative tasks, relationship building and education. For example, some modern DNS and traffic management providers enable real-time APIs and routing algorithms that automate network traffic routing and change management processes, freeing up network management teams from this tedious but critical work to focus on more strategic tasks.

The rise of IOT, AR and AI-enabled devices brings with it considerable benefits for consumers and enterprises, but they also present new challenges for legacy IT infrastructure. As adoption of these technologies continues, enterprises will look for new ways to direct traffic from users, automate routing decisions and provide an always-on, secure connection.

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