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Cisco’s Six Pillar Internet of Things (IoT) System

Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Yet today, more than 99 per cent of things in the physical world remain unconnected.  

To capitalise on the unprecedented opportunities presented by this wave of digitisation, companies and cities are increasingly deploying Internet of Things solutions.
However, digitisation is complex. Customers are often connecting devices and objects – or converging unrelated networks – at previously unprecedented scales.  

Furthermore, noted Cisco, they can only realise the value of these connections through the application of advanced data analytics, and even then, customers often still need to create a new class of intelligent applications capable of accelerating new business models or increasing productivity. 

Of course, all of this has to happen without ever sacrificing security at any point in the system, from the device to the data center and via the cloud.
The new Cisco IoT System addresses the complexity of digitisation with an infrastructure that is designed to manage large scale systems of diverse endpoints and platforms, and the data deluge they create.
The new Cisco IoT System comprises six critical technology elements or ‘pillars’ which – when combined together into an architecture – help reduce the complexities of digitisation. Cisco also announced 15 new Internet of Things products within the six pillars. 
Six-Pillar Approach for Cisco IoT System

The six pillars of the new Cisco IoT System are:

  • Network Connectivity: This pillar includes purpose-built routing, switching, and wireless products available in ruggedised and non-ruggedised form factors.
  • Fog Computing: ‘Fog’ is a distributed computing infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT) which extends computing capability – and thereby data analytics applications – to the ‘edge’ of networks. It enables customers to analyse and manage data locally, and thereby to derive immediate insights from connections. Cisco predicts that 40% of IoT-created data will be processed in the fog by 2018. Over 25 of Cisco’s network products are enabled with Cisco’s fog computing or edge data processing platform, IOx.  
  • Security: The security pillar of the IoT System unifies cyber and physical security to deliver operational benefits and increase the protection of both physical and digital assets.  Cisco’s IP surveillance portfolio and network products with TrustSec security and cloud/cyber security products allow users to monitor, detect and respond to combined IT and Operational Technology (OT) attacks.
  • Data Analytics:  The Cisco IoT System provides an optimised infrastructure to implement analytics and harness actionable data for both the Cisco Connected Analytics Portfolio and third party analytics software.
  • Management and Automation: The IoT System provides enhanced security, control and support for multiple siloed functions to deliver an easy-to-use system for managing an increasing volume of endpoints and applications, field operators need an easy-to-use management system.
  • Application Enablement Platform: Offers a set of APIs for industries and cities, ecosystem partners and third-party vendors to design, develop and deploy their own applications on the foundation of IoT System capabilities.
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