IBM’s fabled Watson system is well-known as an analytics platform that puts together archived data to provide likely answers to intractable problems or questions. A new initiative between Watson IoT and Cisco, however, is likely to result in real-time insights from any and all endpoints.
The Cisco-IBM collaboration seeks to enable organizations in remote areas tap the combined power of Watson IoT and Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities to more deeply understand and act on critical data on the network edge.
Cisco, through its offerings and support for “fog computing” initiatives, is a proponent of deploying intelligence at the edge, or anywhere else along the spectrum of connections between devices and centralized servers. “We’re pairing Cisco’s edge capabilities with Watson so we can make intelligent decisions at the edge of the network, on what data is valuable,” says Mike Flannagan, vice president of data and analytics at Cisco.
Cisco provides the “ability to do edge analytics on streaming data, and make sense of data – we’re looking at aggregates and summaries, such as time series, be it one-minute, five-minute, or one-hour averages,” Flannagan explains. Through this partnership, “we’re providing the ability for Watson to distribute a little piece of their code to the edge, to tell our software what data is interesting to them.”
The ability to move more analytics processing to the edge is key, particularly for real-time insights based on IoT and other distributed data. But for businesses without easy access to high bandwidth connectivity, these capabilities are sometimes out of reach or take too long. Cisco and IBM’s intent is to provide such capabilities operating on the edge of computer networks such as oil rigs, factories, shipping companies and mines, where time is of the essence but bandwidth is often lacking.