rkhiremaneRK Hiremane, regional director, data centre and IoT marketing, at Intel Asia-Pacific, talks to thestack.com about how the region must respond to the growth of and enthusiam for the Internet of Things and Big Data.

How do you see the Internet of Things and Big Data driving business growth in the APJ region?

IoT and Big Data are definitely the next big wave in the APJ region. They are interconnected topics. By 2020, we expect to have about 50bn connected devices in the world, whether these are smart devices, sensors, machines, etc. These devices will generate enormous amounts of data that will need to be stored efficiently and analysed effectively to reap the benefits.

IoT directly impacts the cloud, the data centre, and Big Data. For businesses the IoT could mean increased revenue and customer satisfaction. For governments it could mean more efficient services for citizens. Across APJ there are several initiatives already shaping up. Many countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, are looking at how to make their cities smarter and more efficient. It is also worth noting that this trend can be identified in both mature and emerging countries.

What do you identify as the main challenge posed by the IoT?

There are three main challenges that I would identify in connection to IoT. At Intel APJ, we are investing time and money into our product capabilities, as well as our partners and ecosystem particularly focusing on these areas of concern.

Security and data protection

Security is the key underlying capability that should span across end-to-end IoT infrastructure, meaning all the gateways that collect data from smart devices or sensors; including telco infrastructures that transfer data, cloud and data centres where data is stored and analysed, devices that connect to data centres to view the analysed data, as well as API infrastructure that enables app connectivity to a data centre.

From an Intel perspective this is a main area of concern, and hence a major area of development and research. Current solutions include; secure gateways (‘Moon Island’ Gateways), encryption acceleration technologies in telco infrastructure such as Quick Assist Technology in Intel chipsets, advanced encryption performance accelerators such as AES-NI in Xeon CPU in servers, secure servers with trusted boot technology (with Trusted Execution Technology or TXT), McAfee security software, and secure API such as Mashery and vPro technology on Intel Client systems.

These solutions highlight the breadth of security solutions Intel is enabling to overcome the security and data protection challenges.

Wireless Infrastructure

IoT means connected devices. In some APJ countries the wireless infrastructure is poor. Investment in those are required prior to engaging in IoT projects.

Efficient data centres

IoT will drive the demand for highly efficient usage of data centre resources. A tiered storage architecture and a scale-out storage architecture is essential to keep capital and operation expenditures low. A high degree of server utilisation will also require better planning and implementation of virtualisation and cloud. Furthermore, looking at structured and unstructured data for analytics in a cost effective way will signal a greater adoption of scalable solutions such as Hadoop. Intel is therefore investing with partners to build scale-out storage, software-defined infrastructure, and enterprise qualities in Hadoop.

What work is being done at Intel to appease growing privacy concerns?

For privacy, Intel has a solution known as the ‘tokenization broker’. This has the capability to anonymise private fields of data and replace them with tokens, thereby securing private information. If required, such ‘tokenised’ data can be used for analytics without compromising the confidential information.

In which APJ industries are you seeing the biggest enthusiasm for Big Data? What is driving their particular interest to adopt these technologies?

We are witnessing great interest from the smart building sector, looking to design and build more efficient properties which curb power consumption. In the public sector, we have seen enthusiasm from authorities interested in using Big Data to create smart cities too. Big Data can hold important keys to help improve transportation infrastructure, as well as aiding with civic efforts such as crime prevention.

In the health care industry, the collection and analysis of large data sets could help develop effective home care programmes, manage infectious disease prevention strategies, and improve hospital management.

Sentiment analysis that reveals customer satisfaction and response is also an important technology for many consumer-focused organisations, such as media and hospitality groups.

22 of the world’s 37 megacities are expected to be in the APJ region by 2025, how will its IT infrastructure have to react to this demographic boom?

In three words, APJ’s IT infrastructure needs to become agile, efficient, and scalable. Security solutions will have to become an underlying technology treated as a top priority. The region’s infrastructure must be able to respond to deploying services at a faster pace (agility), to having a higher utilisation of underlying resources (efficiency), and to handling data and analytics challenges in a low capex and opex environment (scalabilty).