Machine-to-Machine Communications as a Subset of Internet of Things


Fri, 08/12/2011 - 09:45
Aug 12th, 2011
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As I have blogged on the Internet of Things and Web of things in the past, I would like to focus my forthcoming blogs on Machine-to-Machine communications and its implications to the network, to protocols and security.

Let’s set the foundation:

Imagine a world where billions of objects have sensors to detect, measure, and assess their status, all connected over public or private IP (Internet Protocol) networks.  This world of interconnected objects would have its data regularly collected, analyzed, and used to initiate an action. It would provide a wealth of intelligence for planning, management, policy and decision-making.

Important information is pushed out to machines, to individuals, and to organizations of every type anywhere in the world. The term that characterizes this world of interconnected objects, is the Internet of Things or IoT.

The term Machine to Machine communications (M2M) describes devices that, using a variety of fixed and wireless network constructs to communicate with each other.

They are active communication devices.

We therefore consider M2M a subset of IoT.

For enterprise backbone networks such as Cisco, we assume for example that:

  • The “to be managed” object/machine may be a router, switch, network management appliance/server (e.g. call manager, Telepresence manager) or the collection system at the network site.
  • The “manager” object/machine may be the network management system, Network Operations Center management system, router/ blade at operation center, etc.

Finally, M2M standards are very important for service providers, vendors and 3rd party solution integrators / partners to permit a standard interface and data to flow between devices/networks.

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