Open Source Tools are Good but are
Not Enough for Enterprise-Ready IoT Analytics
IoT Analytics Requires much more than Open Source Tools
Many open source-based Big Data technologies and tools have been introduced in recent years and they provide powerful capabilities to address the challenges of Big Data and IoT analytics. Tools like Hadoop, Spark and Kafka introduced some fundamental capabilities for addressing Big Data and IoT analytics. While these developments were at the core of some useful projects, they are not sufficient to meet the challenges of enterprise IoT analytics. As we have written in previous blogs – IoT Analytics development for the enterprise involves a number of major and unprecedented challenges and requires a more mature and sophisticated level of technology and tools.
IoT Analytics software development using primarily open source tools is a difficult, slow, and risky process. Many teams find it difficult to move quickly because of the specialized and highly technical skills associated with advanced open source tools. Furthermore, the lack of production-ready support in open source technology puts severe limits on the ability to deploy mission critical IoT systems. All of these issues have led to poor results as demonstrated by a recent Gartner study that indicated a 60% failure rate on Big Data projects.
Overcoming these challenges requires four critical capabilities to complement and build on open source technology:
- “Citizen Developer” capabilities that enable low code or zero code approaches to analytics development and enable software development by team members who are not necessarily professional software developers. The complementary and growing trends of “Citizen Developer” and associated “low code / zero code development” are signs of the need to reduce or eliminate coding skills as a critical path issue in IoT projects.
- Enterprise Security. Increasing security concerns about IoT are no secret. The proliferation of devices and data collection points creates a large number of new points of vulnerability. Furthermore, IoT applications and use cases often involve 24 x 7 operations which only further increase the risks. Open source tools do not have the enterprise-level security capabilities required in this environment.
- Enterprise Application Integration. IoT Analytics does not take place in isolation. In fact, it adds the most business value when sensor data is integrated with traditional enterprise data from CRM, ERP and Supply Chain systems. Big Data Open Source technologies generally do not have these types of integration capabilities and so limit the overall business impact of IoT Analytics efforts.
- Integration and management of the complete IoT Analytics solution stack. IoT environments are complex and the tools required to analyze IoT data add to the complexity. The software stack needed to collect and analyze all the data – particularly in real-time use cases – is highly complex with many inter-dependencies and configuration management requirements. Integration and management of the open source tools is essential. Complete IoT Analytics solutions that are production-worthy require automation and management of the complete solution for long term viability and stability.
Vitria’s VIA Platform Provides the Unified Platform Required for IoT Analytics
Vitria’s VIA IoT Analytics Platform builds on Big Data open source tools but goes far beyond them to provide development teams with a much higher degree of productivity and robust operations. VIA reduces technical risks, simplifies and accelerates development, empowers non-technical users, and removes the complexity of native open source tools and technology. The VIA IoT Analytics Platform includes four key capabilities to help companies meet the challenges outlined above.
- VIA’s Visual Modeling Flow Designer includes a graphical interface that simplifies the creation of analytics pipelines and logic – an essential concept for IoT Analytics and a capability not found in open source tools or other products and platforms. VIA’s “zero code/low code” approach accelerates the creation of analytics applications and removes the complexity associated with complex coding in open source tools and technologies.
- Enterprise level security requirements that are missing from open source technologies are another major benefits of the unified VIA platform. It includes a comprehensive security model for users, groups, and roles as well as full authentication and authorization for all operations.
- VIA’s enterprise application integration is also essential to meet the demands of IoT Analytics. It includes a comprehensive suite of connectors and adapters for most of the major CRM, ERP, and other major enterprise applications and systems. This enables VIA to provide the best possible business context for IoT analytics.
- VIA provides a holistic set of lifecycle management capabilities that reduce the complexity of deploying and operating IoT projects. It delivers the stability and robustness expected in 24 x 7 mission-critical IoT operations.
In addition to the four specific benefits above, VIA also offers a level of “future-proofing” that is simply not possible when building on independently developed and constantly evolving open source tools. As many tools innovate quickly, it is important to be able to take advantage of those innovations in a graceful and transparent way while maintaining backward and forward compatibility and stability for IoT Analytics solutions. Vitria VIA continuously integrates new versions of key open source technologies into a unified platform that provides stability for your existing and future IoT Solutions while also enabling your solutions to capitalize on new innovations.
Open Source tools are a good foundation and will continue to be a source of innovation to help address IoT and Big Data use cases. Nevertheless, these tools require significant extensions to create a unified platform that meets the requirements for rapid development and highly reliable operations of IoT Solutions. Vitria has embraced open source in VIA and extended it significantly to create a comprehensive platform for customers to quickly deploy production-grade IoT Analytics solutions. Learn more how you can take advantage of the VIA IoT Analytics Platform.