Forecast: Data captured by IoT connections will top 1.6 Zettabytes by 2020

IoT analytics evolving from cloud to edge networks, says ABI Research.

Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements
Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements

A new report from ABI Research estimates that the volume of data captured by Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices exceeded 200 exabytes in 2014. According to the report, this annual total is forecast to grow seven-fold by the decade’s end, surpassing 1,600 exabytes -- or 1.6 zettabytes -- by 2020.

“The data originating from connected products and processes follows a certain journey of magnitudes," explains ABI principal analyst Aapo Markkanen. "The yearly volumes that are generated within endpoints are counted in yottabytes, but only a tiny fraction of this vast data mass is actually being captured for storage or further analysis." He continues, "And of the captured volume, on average over 90% is stored or processed locally without a cloud element, even though this ratio can vary greatly by application segment. So far, the locally dealt data has typically been largely inaccessible for analytics, but that is now starting to change.”

The analyst contends that, in terms of deployment architectures, the IoT is currently undergoing a major paradigm shift from cloud computing toward edge computing. According to the new report, on one hand, this shift is opening up edge-based data to meaningful analysis, by distributing the analytic workloads across the network. On the other hand, it is also shoring up the cloud-level capabilities by making the transmitted data more actionable, by enriching and contextualizing the payloads.

ABI practice director Dan Shey adds, “Edge computing is a huge challenge for the entire IoT value chain, as we can see from the way that cloud platforms, analytics vendors, and gateway suppliers are scrambling to collaborate with each other. It is also a great opportunity for various software and hardware players that have been working towards this goal even far before the IoT as a concept became fashionable. Names like AGT International, Eurotech, Kepware Technologies, OSIsoft, and Panduit are all examples of firms whose background in distributed intelligence allows them now to expand their target market, even significantly.”

The data findings are from ABI Research’s Edge Analytics in IoT, which is part of the firm’s Internet of Everything market research. Learn more here.


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