Storage should not be an afterthought in industrial design

January 27, 2020 //By Yaniv Iarovici
To support Industry 4.0’s evolution to a more connected world, storage must be front and center when designing industrial applications, because not all storage devices are alike.

The fourth wave of the Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0, is ushering in new opportunities for “connected everything,” allowing companies to utilize networked data from sensors, monitors, robots, and other IoT devices to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for more efficient factories. Industry 4.0 has even given birth to completely “lights-out” factories, where minimal-to-no human interaction is needed. In some cases, robots even change batteries on other robots. Because of the desire for smart and automated everything, an entirely new ecosystem of technologies is emerging for industrial IoT (IIoT).

Purpose-built solutions with storage, networking and compute – either in sensors, gateways, at the edge, in the cloud or on-premises – need to be architected in ways that are optimized to for their part in the IIoT ecosystem. As more industrial applications are trained to apply AI and ML algorithms to get real-time actionable insights, the need for versatile and durable storage solutions will continue to increase. We all know data is growing, and important data must be stored, processed, and analyzed. According to IDC, 90 zettabytes (ZB) of data will be created on IoT devices by 2025. Furthermore, Gartner predicts, by 2023, 30% of industrial enterprises will have full, on-premises deployments of IIoT platforms, up from 15% in 2019.

However, storage, while essential, is often taken for granted, like the oxygen we breathe. Most don’t even think about it, even though we know it’s there. Data can’t thrive without storage. Storage is a key foundational building block and needs to be one of the first design considerations, not one of the last. And here’s why…

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