Cisco has announced IoT System, a suite of hardware and software designed to form the base infrastructure for large scale Internet of Things (IoT) networks, such as smart cities.
The suite covers six areas: network connectivity, security, data analytics, application development, system management and automation, and distributed computing.
Kip Compton, vice president of the IoT Systems and Software Group at Cisco, told V3 that IoT System provides a simpler way to deploy complex IoT networks.
"[IoT] is a very complicated set of technologies to implement. It's an endless array of sensors and machines, and it's all in this complex other environment. Customers have really been grappling with this complexity," he said.
"In 2013, we brought all of our IoT technologies at Cisco together in one group and started integrating the technologies. If we can simplify the deployment, companies can reduce complexity and take advantage of the technology."
He added that IoT System is effectively an accumulation of the work Cisco has been doing in the IoT area since 2008.
"We've reached a point in that journey where we've got enough of the integration done, and with the 15 new products we're ready to unveil that more integrated approach," he said.
IoT System includes Cisco's IE500 purpose-build IE switch, designed to bring connectivity to factory-scale manufacturing and smart cities, two IP cameras designed to provide IoT connected security, and the company's IoT Field Network Director management software that allows customers to monitor and customise IoT network infrastructure on an industrial scale.
IoT System also provides access to Cisco's "fog computing", which Compton explained allows for computing capability to be carried out on the edge of IoT networks.
This creates a local pseudo-cloud, whereby data from a collection of nearby sensors can be analysed and acted on without the need for internet connectivity or for information to be sent to a central cloud system.
Compton explained that this allows IoT networks to function effectivity in areas with poor internet bandwidth, high latency or unstable connectivity with the cloud.
"This is kind of a hybrid. You can put some function on-premise using the fog capability, and it can [also] talk to the cloud," he said.
Compton added that IoT System is suitable for a broad range of deployments on industrial and smaller scales.
But he said that Cisco will target the energy industry, including oil, gas and utilities, while also pursuing the manufacturing industry and exploring the use of IoT System in smart cities, transport and the public sector.
Consolidating IoT technology appears to be a shrewd move by Cisco, particularly as Gartner has claimed that the IoT area faces major fragmentation as it expands.
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