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IoT silos bad for business: Rackspace

Upgrading its iron, cloud-herder muses on the future

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Today's Internet of Things (IoT) devices have to break out of their vendor silos if they're to be taken seriously in the corporate environment, according to Rackspace Asia's CTO Alan Perkins.

Speaking to Vulture South at its CeBIT stand to launch an upgrade to its Australian service (more on this below), Perkins said the future of cloud services is inextricably linked with the booming Internet of Things drive.

However, while that's good for companies like Rackspace, whose services Perkins believe will keep growing just to keep pace with the predicted boom in connected devices (26 billion by 2020 according to Gartner, five billion of which will be sensors), interconnectivity is still holding back the sector.

Rackspace customer SimPRO's CEO Brad Couper said his company is already putting its brains into the Internet of Things: “Our specialty is field service, so we see the Internet of Things helping us decide how to get plumbers to cover today's 20 jobs efficiently.

“We have fifty people across the company working on ideas for how to use wearables,” he said.

This, however, is where many of today's models are holding back the IoT world. “I'm really underwhelmed by the model that says 'we'll sell you a device that phones back to our Web service but doesn't talk to anything else'”, Perkins explained.

That model does nothing but create silos – except instead of operational silos within a company, they're vendor silos that the user can't easily escape. “The devices have to become more intelligent, more autonomous, and more integrated,” Perkins said.

Couper agreed, saying that for the IoT to be valuable for his company, “it's crucial that we know we can connect to the devices at all times,” rather than having to rely on a vendor's connectivity.

Rackspace's big announcement at CeBUT was its May 13 date for general availability of its upgraded Performance Cloud Servers for Australian customers, or those who like the idea of running servers in the tectonically-and-politically-stable environment down under.

The upgrade provides four times more RAM (up to 120 GB), twice the CPU performance (using Intel Xenon E5 processors), in-cloud network throughput of 40 Gbps, and a big boost to disk I/O (more than 130 times the previous servers, the company says) to its RAID 10 SSDs.

Perkins said the upgrade will be important to workloads like Web hosting, e-commerce apps, and cloud-based NoSQL deployments. ®

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