Why IoT Virtualization is Critical to the IoT Market
MAY 10, 2018 20:12 PM
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Why IoT Virtualization is Critical to the IoT Market

By Anand Kameswaran, CEO, KnowThings
The Internet of Things (IoT)  has seen explosive growth in everything from healthcare and banking to retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, and more. Businesses worldwide are eagerly exploring possible applications of IoT.  The number of things connected via the Internet is expected to exceed 50 billion by 2020. And with just 0.06% of all devices that could leverage IoT, the potential for future growth is truly staggering. By 2025, the global worth of IoT tech is expected to top $6.2 trillion. 

Given these volumes and the ever-expanding scale of IoT, adopting an IoT virtualization posture can only be seen as critical to the success of today’s data-based enterprises. The simple truth is that IoT and virtualization go hand in hand. IoT’s flexible and highly versatile framework readily adapts to the peaks and valleys evident in the data streams between machines. With its vast array of connected devices, IoT calls for an “orders of magnitude” scale of management that most traditional networks simply aren’t equipped to economically handle.

New Tools/Techniques Needed
With the IoT genie out of the bottle, developers will need to put their skills to work to fully exploit IoT’s power and reach. That means leveraging proven tools and techniques to build proof-of-concept simulations, validate new ideas, and demonstrate new capabilities. With devices extending into virtually every area, simplifying how IoT is developed will be critical to marketing this bold new technology.  
Software Easier to Control than Hardware
As IoT initiatives expand in scale and scope, firms are turning to virtualization and the many benefits it offers. Case studies by various enterprises have documented the upside of this strategy. Chief among these is that software is simply easier to control than hardware. Gauging a product’s performance or capturing its active interactions becomes far easier with virtualization, since there’s no need to connect anything or run wires anywhere. No hardware breakdown concerns or safety and cost considerations. Virtualization gives one the freedom to use as many devices as needed, which adds immeasurably to the versatility of IoT software. No worries over “square pegging” IoT devices into existing platforms. No exorbitant setup costs.
Device Free, Low Manpower Testing
Another benefit of virtualization is that it cuts out all the tech manpower needed to build devices, heat or cool them, store them or, again, run all those cables. Testing is all software driven, which affords firms an easy and inexpensive way to ensure the code works on the object it’s being teamed up with. A bit of machine learning and one is up to speed on device transactions, which can then be scaled up to multiple devices. These adaptive virtual devices provide the insights needed that ultimately allow one to leverage control onto thousands of actual devices—all without the need to build, buy, maintain, or store thousands of IoT devices.
Ericsson Puts IoT Virtualization to Test
Ericsson recently tested the capabilities of Bluetooth mesh to demonstrate its potential in commercial applications. The test involved a full stack implementation of Bluetooth’s Mesh Profile in a system-level simulator to reveal the scalability, performance, and interoperability of the system-under-test. Their scenario included 879 devices—everything from window, occupancy and HVAC sensors to light switches and bulbs. All were deployed in a 2,000 square meters area. 
The network performance evaluation replicated low, medium and high traffic-use cases to help Ericsson determine performance requirements, such as the number of relays/hops required to meet the typical QoS needs for a connected lighting system. A simulator allowed Ericsson to test these devices in realistic situations with significantly lower setup and testing costs than creating physical labs.
Inarguably, simulations have achieved a sort of cache in testing new IoT ideas and standards. It’s not hard to imagine how IoT virtualization will empower and economize both IoT development and deployment.
About KnowThings
KnowThings.io is a CA Technologies startup accelerator based in Plano, Texas. Using patented technologies, we are building a machine learning based IoT device virtualizer to help IoT development teams quickly build advanced virtual device prototypes, early-stage test and development scenarios with realistic data to help development teams bring their ideas to fruition faster and at a lower cost. For more information, visit https://knowthings.io.
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