An immutable two-step axiom of technology: Someone will come up with a really great idea, and then someone else practical will ask how it’s going to be managed. In no instance is this more evident than with the Internet of Things. Everywhere around us there are projects on connecting things, be it sensors on cows or in our refrigerators. The task of efficiently utilizing the connections and capabilities of the Internet of Things quickly becomes too complex for humans and requires technological solutions.
Infoblox, through our participation in the open-source community FlowForwarding, is working to help solve such problems: How can we chip away at the complexity of connected things while extracting the promise of what they offer? What are some ways to address the lifecycle of such applications? We are working on creating an application called Tapestry, which is built on a scalable platform, also called Tapestry, for control, telemetry, and analytics of network devices.
One of the major contributors to complexity in Internet of Things is how its different components such as devices, gateways, and cloud software are developed in silos using different programming languages, in different environments, and by diverse development teams. In contrast, the Tapestry platform has been developed in a unified way with all major components written in the Erlang programming language.
We believe that the Tapestry application and its use of the Tapestry platform serve as an example for a class of applications where a developer can close the loop and bring new features and efficiencies into the world of connected things, because he or she can develop the whole software system from end to end and not just some of its segments.
That was the topic of a presentation I recently delivered at a conference devoted to Erlang. Erlang, developed by engineers at Ericsson, is used to build massively scalable real-time systems with requirements for high availability. Some of its uses are in telecom, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging.
As an application that is built on the Tapestry platform, Tapestry examines endpoints as they interact with one another. It focuses on a different dimension not addressed by current tools that only provide visibility into endpoints individually. It utilizes data from network-wide control systems such as DNS to gather information about endpoint interactions.
By tracking the use of DNS by endpoints, it is possible to identify interactions between endpoints, no matter what application causes the interaction. Tapestry uses this data to show how an enterprise network is being used by endpoints and to quantify how complex endpoint interactions are – regardless of where the endpoints, applications, and services of that enterprise reside. Because of the deeper and macro level visibility it provides, we see uses for Tapestry in network management and security.
To learn more about Tapestry, visit its repository on Github. Stay tuned for more insights on how Infoblox is helping transform Tapestry into a platform for telemetry and embedded analytics to be used by Internet of Things applications.