5G Will Accelerate a New Wave of IoT Applications and Z

Even before the advent of 5G DancingDinosaur, which had ghostwritten a top book on IoT, believed that IoT and smartphones would lead back to the Z eventually, somehow. Maybe the arrival of 5G and smart edge computing might slow the path to the Z. Or maybe not.

Even transactions and data originating and being processed at the edge will need to be secured, backed up, stored, distributed to the cloud, to other servers and systems, to multiple clouds, on premises, and further  processed and reprocessed in numerous ways. Along the way, they will find their ways back to a Z somehow and somewhere, sooner or later.

an edge architecture

5G is driving change in the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s a powerful enabling technology for a new generation of use cases that will leverage edge computing to make IoT more effective and efficient,” writes Rishi Vaish and Sky Matthews. Rishi Vaish is CTO and VP, IBM AI Applications; Sky Matthews is CTO, Engineering Lifecycle Management at IBM.  DancingDinosaur completely agrees, adding only that it won’t just stop there.

Vaish and Matthews continue: “In many ways, the narrative of 5G is the interaction between two inexorable forces: the rise in highly reliable, high-bandwidth communications, and the rapid spread of available computing power throughout the network. The computing power doesn’t just end at the network, though. End-point devices that connect to the network are also getting smarter and more powerful.” 

True enough, the power does not just end there; neither does it start there. There is a long line of powerful systems, the z15 and generations of Z before it that handle and enhance everything that happens in whatever ways are desired at that moment or, as is often the case, later. 

And yes, there will be numerous ways to create comparable services using similarly smart and flexible edge devices. But experience has shown that it takes time to work out the inevitable kinks that invariably will surface, often at the least expected and most inopportune moment. Think of it as just the latest manifestation of Murphy’s Law moved to the edge and 5G.

The increasingly dynamic and powerful computational environment that’s taking shape as telcos begin to redesign their networks for 5G will accelerate the uptake of IoT applications and services throughout industry,  Vaish and Matthews continue. We expect that 5G will enable new use cases in remote monitoring and visual inspection, autonomous operations in large-scale remote environments such as mines, connected vehicles, and more.

This rapidly expanding range of computing options, they add,  requires a much more flexible approach to building and deploying applications and AI models that can take advantage of the most cost-efficient compute resources available.

IBM chimes in: There are many ways that this combination of 5G and edge computing can enable new applications and new innovations in various industries. IBM and Verizon, for example, are developing potential 5G and edge solutions like remote-controlled robotics, near real-time video analysis, and other kinds of factory-floor automation.

The advantage comes from smart 5G edge devices doing the analytics immediately, at the spot where decisions may be best made. Are you sure that decisions made at the edge immediately are always the best? DancingDinosaur would like to see a little more data on that.

In that case, don’t be surprised to discover that there will be other decisions that benefit from being made later, with the addition of other data and analysis. There is too much added value and insight packed into the Z data center to not take advantage of it.

Alan Radding, a veteran information technology analyst, writer, and ghost-writer, is DancingDinosaur. Follow DancingDinosaur on Twitter, @mainframeblog, and see more of his work at http://technologywriter.com/.

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