AWS analytics buy sets stage for next wave of data processing

Processing data from sensors attached to mobile devices and other objects will become a hot commodity in the next three to five years, experts say.

The Internet of Things is coming to your enterprise soon if it hasn’t already, analysts say, and it will take a public cloud the size of Amazon Web Services to handle processing all the data.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is more prepared to handle the wave of data from Internet-connected devices  now that it has acquired startup 2lemetry, Inc., which makes middleware that connects data from sensors placed in the field with back-end processing systems.

The 2lemetry acquisition, if converted into a simple device messaging service running on AWS, could give IT departments and application developers an easier way to consume this data and turn it into actionable insights to improve business processes.

Amazon's retail business could use the technology as well, but 2lemetry's ThingFabric Platform integrates with several AWS services, including the Redshift data warehouse, the DynamoDB NoSQL database, Kinesis streaming data processing service and the Simple Storage Service. 

If you have to wait for a traditional hardware acquisition and provisioning cycle to analyze data that’s coming in daily, you're out of luck.

- John Treadway, Cloud Technology Partners

Internet of Things (IoT) work has already picked up among clients, cloud consultants say. There currently isn't a standardized way to get information from a device to back-end processing systems, but 2lemetry could represent a de-facto standard in routing and parsing data gleaned from smart watches, smart meters, cell phones, and IP-addressable sensors used in several different fields, from agriculture to medicine.

"We're doing a lot of Internet of Things work already," said John Treadway, senior vice president with Cloud Technology Partners, a consultancy based in Boston.

For example, an agricultural client of Cloud Technology Partners already uses sensors in soil to determine salinity, moisture, temperature and other metrics that help the company decide when to plant, water, fertilize and harvest crops.

IoT is still an immature market, but over the next three to five years, it will be the next great wave of data processing, analysts said.

"If you had the chance to make better decisions based on sensors that only cost a few dollars, why wouldn't you do it?" said Jack Gold, analyst and principal at J. Gold Associates in Northborough, Mass. "The amount of sensor data that's going to be available will explode."

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