Getting Ahead of the Data of Things

Imagine this scenario: Your refrigerator alerts you when it’s time to buy more eggs or milk. Smart thermostats in your home adjust the temperature based on sensors, real-time weather forecasts, and your home’s daily activity to reduce your energy usage and lower your utility bills. You’re stuck at work, and worry that you won’t be home in time to start dinner before your spouse and kids arrive. From your office, you can turn on the outside porch, family room and kitchen lights of your house, and pre-heat the oven. You don’t need to check up as frequently on your elderly mother, because her prescription medication bottles remind her when it’s time to take her meds. It no longer matters that you have a brown thumb, because your outdoor irrigation system precisely waters the plants in your garden, based on their actual growing needs and conditions.

Sound a bit sci-fi? It’s not. It’s now. This is just a small sampling of possible applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a dynamic, rapidly expanding intelligent network of sensors, software and electronics. The sensors and electronics can be embedded in any device —from clothes at retail stores to light bulbs to car batteries to wearables, enabling these objects to be controlled and contacted remotely. IoT enables connectivity between devices as well as systems and services; and the information generated from these devices can be used on larger scales to inform business decisions, while resulting in efficiency gains and extreme cost savings.

An Explosion of Data

Gartner predicts that over six billion devices will be used globally in 2016, which is a 30 percent increase from 2015. By 2020, that number could top 20 billion. Because of the enormous forecasted volumes of IoT devices, each of which requires a separate IP address, they will use IPV6 addressing. Billions of IoT devices will undoubtedly generate millions of petabytes of data. Companies will therefore need to efficiently receive, store, mine and analyze this data.

Enter Big Data and Lenovo Servers

So what to do if you’re a company that needs to store and analyze this data efficiently, in real-time? Your current infrastructure and workloads may not be sufficient to master the information influx. 

Big data applications leverage clusters of x86 servers to crunch through large data sets, mining for actionable intelligence. For example, advertisers can use consumer data to target personalized ads on web sites. And this is where Lenovo enters the picture. Using world-class Lenovo servers, ranked #1 in reliability, you can not only manage the volume, variety and velocity of data from IoT devices and elsewhere; you can also store it and mine it for critical insights to guide your business.

Lenovo offers Big Data Reference Architectures for Cloudera, MapR and IBM BigInsights on the Lenovo x3650 M5 and x3550 M5 servers. The architectures combine software from these leading big data ISVs to analyze unstructured and structured data. Choosing the right platform for the big data cluster is essential to ensure high performance and uptime of your workloads. The powerful two-socket 2U x3650 M5 supports an optimized big data configuration that includes the latest Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors for stellar performance, and up to fourteen three and a half inch low cost-per-terabyte front-facing drives with up to 86 TB capacity for abundant,  directly-attached storage. It also supports energy-efficient features, such as Titanium power supplies, dual fan zones and extended operating temperature ranges to decrease energy consumption and data center costs.

Finally, as added protection of the hardware and firmware, the x3650 M5 supports Lenovo Trusted Platform Assurance, an industry-unique set of security features and practices. All firmware is designed, built and digitally signed in the US; and no firmware is allowed to boot or execute until its digital signature has been verified.

The compact two-socket x3550 M5 rack server serves as a management node in the Lenovo Big Data Reference Architectures. It, too, supports abundant low-cost-per-terabyte storage capacity (up to 24 TB), along with energy efficient features and Lenovo Trusted Platform Assurance.

Lenovo XClarity is a simple, centralized resource tool for managing the x3650 M5 and x3550 M5 servers.  It simplifies and speeds up data center operations by reducing complexity, automating tasks, monitoring system health and applying firmware updates. It also features REST APIs that enable control via higher-level cloud orchestration and service management software tools.

Getting Ahead

We are still in the infancy of IoT. As this movement evolves and generates more data that can be shared between products and services in an expanding network, companies will need powerful servers that can accept the influx of data, store it and analyze it rapidly with big data clusters to produce meaningful insights. Using proven Lenovo servers, you can quickly harness the power of IoT to identify key intelligence to inform business decisions and streamline processes—resulting in efficiency gains and cost savings. Whether your business uses the resulting analysis to generate more advertising revenue, streamline your costs, reduce patients’ trips to the doctor through advanced monitoring, or enable smart homes and consumer energy savings, the combination of industry-leading Lenovo servers optimized for big data, and our Big Data Reference Architectures from leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can help you get ahead.

Learn more here and here.