Menu
Cisco says its IoT parts are now a whole

Cisco says its IoT parts are now a whole

The company's Internet of Things System combines many products, adds 15 more

The IR 829 industrial access point, with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities, was one of 15 products that Cisco Systems introduced as part of its Cisco IoT System on Monday, June 29, 2015.

The IR 829 industrial access point, with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities, was one of 15 products that Cisco Systems introduced as part of its Cisco IoT System on Monday, June 29, 2015.

The Internet of Things System that Cisco Systems introduced on Monday at long last ties together a broad range of IoT parts from the company, but users may want to take a close look at what this really gives them.

Cisco formed an IoT division two years ago out of groups dedicated to industrial networks and smart electrical grids. It saw that those technologies were part of a larger trend, but turning them into a cohesive set of products took time.

"In 2013, when we pulled this stuff together, it didn't work as well together as it should," said Kip Compton, vice president of Cisco's Internet of Things Systems and Software group. "We're now feeling like we're at a point where we can claim that."

The Internet of Things System spans all the parts of infrastructure that go into an IoT deployment, including communications gear, computing elements, security and management software, Cisco says. Some of those already exist, but while announcing the system on Monday, the company also introduced 15 products that will be part of it. They include routers, a switch, a Wi-Fi access point, security cameras, and tools for gathering data from the edges of the network for analysis. All will ship within 90 days, Compton said.

Some core features of the IoT System, such as Cisco's TrustSec role-based security technology, will exist across the company's IoT line. Another common thread is IoT Field Network Director, built from management software tools Cisco already had.

Field Network Director is designed to manage all the elements of an IoT deployment. For example, it can manage smart meters and the routers connected to them as well as mobile routers built into maintenance trucks. That combination, plus location-based capabilities in the software, could allow a utility to detect failed meters and quickly tell which of its repair trucks was closest to the failure.

IoT Field Network Director can be added to Cisco products already in the field, Compton said. It can also feed information into applications from other vendors through APIs (application programming interfaces).

The Cisco IoT System is just part of the company's broader Internet of Everything initiative, which includes data analytics and the business transformations that Cisco says will become possible with connected things. Cisco is primarily in the business of IoT infrastructure rather than applications or connected "things" themselves, Compton said. It works with numerous partners, including General Electric and Rockwell Automation, that make those components.

However, when it comes to integrating third-party elements into Cisco's infrastructure, the same rules apply in IoT as in traditional networking. Cisco supports standard communications and management protocols, but specific enhancements added by Cisco and other vendors won't necessarily work across both Cisco and third-party gear, Compton said.

A complete architecture like Cisco's can have benefits to enterprises and the system integrators that often put together IoT infrastructures for them, said analyst Andy Castonguay of Machina Research.

"They're trying to make this transition for enterprises easier than what was there before," he said.

For one thing, going with Cisco's IoT System may reduce an enterprise's reliance on middleware vendors or developers to make disparate systems work together, Castonguay said.

Still, enterprise decision-makers are faced with complex decisions as they look at emerging products and the legacy IoT gear they may already have, Castonguay said. Any vendor's overall system needs to offer real benefits.

"It's going to be important for enterprises and operators to push back on companies -- not just Cisco," he said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetCisco SystemsInternet of Things

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments