February 7, 2020
By Scott Robinson
IoT data is changing the pace at which we receive information—and from where.
With Internet of Things data, doctors can be alerted to a patient’s irregular heart rate or field service technicians can get important data about failing equipment in the field. This data can help them make the right decision in the moment.
But the volume and velocity of data—as well as the need for anywhere anytime access in the multicloud-era—require new architectures to accommodate transit. Enter this architecture-a mouthful, to be sure—the event broker platform as a service (ebPaaS).
The IoT is where event broker platforms will have their moment in the sun. The requirements of networking on the edge resilience, dynamic scaling, real-time rerouting, mediation between systems, message delivery integrity – are all features in the ebPaaS wheelhouse.
Why Multicloud Makes Event Broker PaaS More Important
Today, the multicloud era becomes the standard environment in which IT must manage data, and it requires a tool that can bring data in from distributed locations, even from legacy apps or infrastructure. “It gives you the ability to take applications that may be deployed in your legacy environment, in . . . multiple public cloud environments, and have all those applications able to interact,” said Shawn McAllister, a CTO at Solace in an article about the importance of event broker PaaS architecture.
Those requirements aren’t new to an economy where responsiveness is the difference between thriving and death. With an ebPaaS model, that high level of performance becomes possible between systems and companies.
Event broker PaaS architecture empowers IoT with resources that are unrealistic on a system-by-system basis; an ebPaaS platform can service many application systems, companies or IoT-populated areas at once and handle traffic, data management and security in real time.
Putting enterprise operations in the cloud and implementing interoperability between systems was a boon; it made it possible for a machine on a factory floor in one city to report on their own condition and request replacements parts from an office in another. The event broker platform in the cloud removes all boundaries from such functionality: it becomes possible for a truck to break down on a major highway in the middle of a city during rush hour, and for the truck itself to summon emergency services for traffic safety via ebPaaS, and for ebPaaS to locate and request the most immediate resources for repair.
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the Louisiana National Guard organized public and private resources of all kinds within a public SharePoint deployment to better coordinate communication. If this system were built today with ebPaaS, it could offer superior communication and response—and automate it. The platform could handle requests to arrange transportation, lodging, storage, notifications and necessary authorizations. The event broker platform is one-stop shopping for coordinating complex processes.
Automation on Steroids
The possibilities for automation are obvious, especially across large distances. Resources can be concentrated within such a platform, allowing the collection of large amounts of metadata surrounding the automation (very important in IoT, for fine-tuning the performance of many devices) and handling high-density communication with microservices handling data moving across enterprise network boundaries. An ebPaaS represents a high-capacity buffer for this kind of transport and can offer real-time analytics.
This means that ebPaaS-based automation enlists machine learning at the point where IoT messaging is at its busiest, rather than in an in-house application cloud. This makes IoT system performance that much more efficient, and enables IoT systems to make decisions on their own.
An airport security system could, for instance, not only scan faces in the crowd for persons of interest to the Department of Homeland Security but also find lost children and identify travelers in physical distress, and could, through ebPaaS, request the appropriate resources.
Setting New Standards
One potential feature of ebPaaS is the logging of events blockchain-style, in permanent, append-only immutability. This is easily achieved, and greatly enhances the integrity of processes that service many organizations at once (particularly in health care, where coordination of patient data and institutional trust are high priorities). Event broker platforms make this kind of event capture practical.
Finally, the capture of event activity in ebPaaS centralizes the monitoring of processes that are geographically disparate and spread across multiple systems, making it more convenient than it has ever been to analyze such processes improve them. Deploying ebPaaS may be the best step toward large-scale automation and practical analytics across wide-area-network operations.
Not all ebPaaS middleware vendors offer all of this functionality, though the major players such as Solace, ArcSight and Appccelerate are scrambling to bundle in as many of them as possible. It’s a foregone conclusion, however, that ebPaaS is on the rise, and that all of this and more is just around the corner.
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