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James Carlini, MBA, is a real estate technology strategist, a certified Infrastructure consultant, and President of CARLINI & ASSOCIATES, since 1986. He is a member of the National Military Intelligence Association. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club, Lake Michigan... More
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  • QNX? The Internet Of Things (IoT) Must Be Able To Run On The Internet Of Reality 7 comments
    Jul 11, 2014 3:07 AM | about stocks: BBRY, SSNLF, AAPL, NOK, GOOG

    QNX provided an informative webinar on July 10th on their product and its capabilities.

    The webinar was of interest as many people have heard of the buzzphrase, "The Internet of Things" (IoT) but don't realize what it really entails as to insuring real performance on network infrastructure and cloud-based services.

    The QNX product is operating system-agnostic which means it can be used to provide security end-to-end no matter what the device's operating system is. This is a great feature as some enterprise security products are limited as to what the device operating systems are.

    The core principles QNX focuses on are Simpllcity, Scalability, and Security. These principles have to be architected into the platform upfront and not added on as an afterthought. Their product is built to provide massive-scale security across a myriad of devices and operating systems in a cloud-based environment. This means they are focused on managing an entire business lifestyle through one platform.

    I asked several questions at the end of the webinar, but only two were addressed.


    The first question I asked was:

    You talk about IoT transactions and data - what about the actual network infrastructure that needs to be updated before this type of traffic can be handled? What efforts are being made by you and others to get the network part updated?

    Their Answer: "We partner with all the carriers. The carriers are working on that."

    That really did not satisfy me because the network infrastructure which is out there today cannot handle the amount of traffic they talked about. If you have billions and billions of devices sending billions and billions of inquiries, responses, and status messages you need to have a network that can handle that end-to-end.

    Their product may be very good and robust, but it also needs to be on a network which can support that type of traffic. This requirement is necessary for ANY cloud-based product like QNX.

    My next question was "half-asked" by the female moderator. She did not seem to know the terminology posed in the question and glossed over it. The question was:

    What speeds are optimal in this environment? 1Gbps for a mobile user? 5Gbps? 50 Gbps for a stationary user? Terabit and multi-terabit for a backbone (backhaul) component for the network?

    It appeared as though she did not know what Gbps stood for (gigabit per second) so she left out the part about gigabit, multi-gigabit, and terabit speeds.

    That was frustrating and is a pet peeve of mine. To ALL companies presenting cutting-edge information about industry concepts and their own products:

    Be sure your moderator is well-versed in the industry's major terminology before you put them in charge of handling questions. You might be shooting yourself in the foot when they gloss over something that should be easily understood and answered by your subject matter experts.

    The other two questions were not selected to be answered. Was it a matter of time constraints? Or, was it because the moderator felt uncomfortable asking the questions - or both? The questions:

    IoT is only as good as the network infrastructure it is running on - with that being said, what strategic upgrades are you demanding from a network infrastructure that is still dependent on copper especially on the Last Mile - and not fiber?

    5G is supposed to be rolled out by 2020 - multi-gigabit speeds will need to be employed if this is going to work. Do you think the carriers will have these speeds available? Will those speeds be ubiquitous? (available ALL over or just major cities)

    Neither one of these questions were asked or addressed. This was disappointing as these questions NEED to be addressed for any cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) product or service.

    They did talk about their 30 years in the business of developing software and platforms for various clients, but it would have been nice to provide an example of an up-and-running, end-to-end QNX-enabled application working in a mission critical environment.

    Many companies are touting next-generation products, but what I like to see is a real application running at a reference-able account to assess how it really works in a mission critical environment.

    QNX is focused on providing end-to-end security on a single platform for multiple operating systems. As mentioned earlier, it is operating system-agnostic. If you look at the partnership of Trustonic and Samsung (KNOX), they have a similar product but it does not seem to cut across various operating systems (Android, iOS, other)

    At this point, any product being touted as a security product for cloud services or enterprise-wide mission critical applications must be able to address a multiple operating system scenario because most organizations are adopting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. If you have a Smartphone or Tablet, it should not matter what operating system it is running.

    Those products addressing a single device operating system at this point, cannot be viewed as a solution to the IoT networks of the future.

    More information is available at my other article on this -iot.sys-con.com/node/3120128

    Disclosure: The author is long BBRY, T, VZ, ALU.

    Additional disclosure: Author of the upcoming book Location Location Connectivity: Next-Generation Real Estate, Intelligent Infrastructure and the Global Platform for Commerce

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Comments (7)
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  • Thepianist
    , contributor
    Comments (225) | Send Message
    Jibbrish article no heads and no tails.
    11 Jul 2014, 06:55 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (5847) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » If it's jibberish to you, you don't understand the industry and probably should not be investing in it.
    11 Jul 2014, 07:32 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (5847) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thepianist -
    Let me explain it this way and you'll walk away with a better visual of what is happening in the industry.


    The big takeaway from the seminar is that the QNX product is operating system-agnostic which means it can work with any operating system within devices (i.e. Android, iOS, etc) - or at least any operating system they cover. (that is a GOOD thing- in fact a VERY GOOD thing)


    So far, it looks like Samsung and Trustonic's product (KNOX?) is only focused on Android. I am sure if they think they are going to play in the Internet of Things marketspace, they need to pump up that product to cover more than one Operating System besides Android.


    The bigger concern I have is that everyone is giddy about connecting everything from Smartphones to refrigerators to toasters. The network infrastructure has to handle all those devices and messages. Right now, it can't - so it has to be upgraded - A LOT.


    Otherwise the Internet of Things concept is like saying you have a 250MPH Bullet Train that can handle and carry everything BUT the tracks it is running on can only have speeds of 20MPH.


    Hopefully, that analogy will help.
    11 Jul 2014, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • sanityininsanity
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
    If the network can handles hundreds of millions of people downloading hundreds of millions of movies, it can certainly handle discreet data sent by billions of devices
    11 Jul 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (5847) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Sorry Sanity -
    It's NOT that simple. Many parts of the network are under-engineered and to add BILLIONS of devices on it, you need to upgrade the underlying network infrastructure.


    Your big IF is wrong - the reality is that hundreds of millions of people cannot download millions of movies.


    Go to any major stadium where they just put in WiFi and DAS to provide that type of download to 50K-85K worth of people with Smartphones. Many, if not all, of the stadiums were under-engineered.


    The network needs to have a lot more capacity in order to handle this huge increase in traffic- especially on the Last Mile.


    There are also the issues of mission critical networks for enterprises. Mission critical means you have a redundant network and NO single point-of-failure. Mission critical applications account for one out-of-three applications in an enterprise. (AND this is increasing to one out-of-two). How many enterprises are in buildings where they have a single connection to a single central office? 96%? 99%?


    You need to re-configure networks if they are running mission critical applications and most are NOT.


    I worked on 911 centers, stock exchanges, and hospitals - they may have redundant networks, but the vast majority of companies do not.


    If we are to go to the "Internet of Things", we need to have a different set of design concepts in order handle both the volume and well as the mission criticality of enterprise networks.
    11 Jul 2014, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • LTI0723
    , contributor
    Comments (859) | Send Message
    I agree with you concern about the network infrastructure being up to the task of accommodating the additional volume of data. I would point out though:


    1) This is not a QNX challenge, it is an Internet of Things challenge. Or more broadly yet, it is internet challenge. All content providers and consumers face the same reality.


    2) Network infrastructure is already stressed in trying to handle traffic increases (think of video streaming traffic increases over the last few years). This is likely to get worse. The good news is that the infrastructure is a work in progress. Improvements in capacity and speed are on going in response to anticipated increases in demand.


    3) The anticipated volume of data resulting from IoT is not going to show up tomorrow, it is going to ramp up over time as the projects come on stream.
    11 Jul 2014, 10:31 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (5847) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » LTI
    YES - it is NOT a QNX challenge and their focus to go operating system -agnostic is the right choice.


    I would say they have picked the right design constructs to build their product. Single operating system coverage (security) is obsolete. Multi-platform coverage is necessary in a BYOD environment.
    11 Jul 2014, 12:51 PM Reply Like
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