At Intel It’s Not How Many Humans does it take to change a light bulb?

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It’s How many Lightbulbs Do You Want to Change at Once.

I had the privilege to speak with Dipti Vachani, Vice President and General Manager of the IoT Group at Intel, about lightbulbs. Well actually about orchestration and the need to make IoT scalable.

To illustrate the point though she used the issue of enabling 10,000 IoT lightbulbs. The calculation is that it would have taken 2 years to get all the lightbulbs provisioned and securely connected to an IoT platform.

However, that has to do with the point where provisioning comes in. If you have to do the provisioning onsite with a tech and a connection back to the platform, you are going to be there a while and in addition, configuring these systems have security problems normally with bulk shipment default passwords and other supply chain issues.

Intel has solved the problem by working at the silicon layer with Intel Secure Device Onboarding. In effect, the configuration is in place and discovered when the light bulb (or any enabled device) turns on.

The security of the system uses Intel Enhance Privacy ID [EPID] to identify and partition the relationship between devices and customer platforms; which may include a variety of cloud services including Amazon Web Service, Google and Microsoft.

Intel’s EPID has already been used with over 2.7 B devices. From a security standpoint this eliminate one avenue of attack and it also represents a nonPKI solution that does not rely on a central key management database. This means there is an opportunity to insert block chain distributed documentation.

This is an ecosystem solution that goes beyond Intel’s chips and includes silicon manufactures such as Andes Technology, Cypress, Microchip, National Technologies and Infineon. For devices manufacturers it includes Addling, Arrow, Nexcom and Supermicro. The Platforms that work with Intel’s SDO include Amazon, Device Authority, ForgeRock, Google, Hitachi, Microsoft, NTT Communications, Nuestar, Schneider Electric, Weatherford as well as Intel’s Device Cloud and WindRiver.

Dipti used Wind River Helix Device Cloud managing Weatherford Oil and Gas pumping stations as an example. This installation included 290,000 wells, 870,000 sensors and nearly 10,000 gateways. It showed that beyond onboarding these systems scale, manage and monitor devices including the ability to update software.

How many humans does it take to change a light bulb? When it comes Zero Touch and Intel’s SDO solution, we are getting closer to saying none. However, the light bulb already told the platform it wanted to change.


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