Intel Moves to Build Out IoT Partner Ecosystem
Looking to drive the adoption of Internet of things (IoT) applications in a way that will ultimately generate trillions of dollars in revenues for the IT industry, Intel this week at an its IoT Insights 2015 event unveiled a broad assortment of products and services and reference architectures designed to make it much simpler for solution providers to build and deploy IoT applications.
Intel is trying to jump-start an IoT partner ecosystem around what it described as a third wave of computing that will be driven by machine data moving in and out of the cloud. Along with that effort, Intel also announced a partner program through which it will work with other vendors and solution providers to drive the development of these applications. Those partners include Accenture, GE, Honeywell, SAP and Yanzi.
"We're providing a foundational set of capabilities on which our partners and customers can build solutions," said Doug Davis, senior vice president for the IoT Group at Intel. "We've created that first implementation of IoT platform to connect the unconnected."
At the core of the Intel IoT initiative is a new class of Quark system-on-a-chip (SOC) offerings that Intel is positioning as a tier of processors below its Atom line of processors that are used in mobile computing devices. Those processors will manifest themselves in microcontrollers that will be not only identify patterns and anomalies, but also include security capabilities, such as being able to white-list the applications running on them.
In addition, Intel unveiled two free operating systems, dubbed Pulsar and Rocket, based on derivatives of Linux created by Wind River Systems, a unit of Intel that focuses on embedded systems. Those two operating systems are designed to securely connect IoT devices running Pulsar and Rocket back to a variety of cloud services.
Finally, the giant chip maker also unveiled the Intel Trusted Analytics Platform (TAP), a marketplace where solution providers can securely host big data in the cloud and then make use of a number of third-party analytics applications to analyze that data using libraries that Intel has developed to optimize those applications. TAP itself is hosted on an implementation of the open-source Cloud Foundry platform-as-as-service software and is designed to process data in the cloud and push analytics out to where data is actually stored across a distributed IoT network.
Those technologies are designed to complement existing investments in Intel Trusted Connected Services, API Management Portal and Intel Services Gateway offerings that Intel provides to help some 400,000 plus IoT developers. To facilitate the development of those projects, Intel is providing developers with a cloud box toolkit that includes both tools and processors that can be connected back to simulation services in the cloud that enable developers to model and test applications before deploying them.
One of the first vendors expected to leverage the IoT platform is SAP. The company is expected to extend support for the new Intel framework from its SAP HANA in-memory computing platform in the first half of 2016.
While rolling out its own IoT platform, Intel this week also reiterated its commitments to Open Internet Consortium (OIC) and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to make sure that IoT applications can interact with and be ported to other architectures.
Of course, running IoT applications at the level of scale Intel envisions requires additional advances in 5G networks, network functions virtualization (NFV) software and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies running on x86 processors that will increasingly provide built-in security technologies. Once those technologies are in place, Intel is forecasting that there will be a 50X increase in the amount of peak data that can be processed in the cloud.
For solution providers, the existence of the Intel IoT platforms should accelerate the development of IoT applications. Rather than have to pull together, test and then validate all these components on their own, Intel is now providing an end-to-end platform for building, deploying and securing those applications. Given that IoT is widely viewed as the next great trillion dollar opportunity for solution providers, the faster comprehensive IoT frameworks are in place, the sooner they can tap into those opportunities.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.