The Raritan Blog

The Internet of Things: What It Is and How It’s Affecting Data Centers

Rick Gonedes
April 25, 2017

To say that we're living in a data-driven world is something of a dramatic understatement. According to Forbes, there was literally more data created during the last two years than at any other point in human history. Another study indicated that by 2020, there will be a fresh 1.7 megabytes of new data created for every living person on planet Earth - every second. 

A large part of this is due to the fact that our data-driven world is also a mobile-driven world, too. Since the release of the Apple iPhone in 2007 - a smartphone literally more powerful than the technology NASA used to get to the moon in the 1960s - it's hard to find someone who doesn't own one of these mission-critical little devices. But an even bigger contributing factor is something called the IoT, or "The Internet of Things." Even if you haven't heard about it yet, it's still already hard at work impacting both your personal and professional lives in a nearly immeasurable number of ways.

What is the Internet of Things?

The IoT is a concept that dictates that not only should everyday items like cars, homes, wearable devices like smartwatches and more all be connected to the Internet, but that they should all be connected to each other. These devices use the Internet connection (and particularly cloud computing) to create data almost constantly. They're also sharing that data back and forth with one another, learning as they go, using it to make your life easier.

The Internet of Things is also growing - and fast. According to Cisco, there will be between 50 and 200 billion devices that make up the IoT by 2020. $1.7 trillion will be spent around the world on IoT technologies and devices, according to a study conducted by research firm IDC. The "smart home" industry alone is going to make up about $79 billion of that number. But going beyond that, most smart devices that make up the IoT won't actually be in your home - they'll be in manufacturing facilities. They'll empower businesses and enable a bold new era of changes to data centers around the globe.

The IoT and Data Centers: What You Need to Know

If you had to sum up what the Internet of Things is doing to data centers, the word you would undoubtedly use would be "disruption." It may sound like a strong and somewhat negative word, but in this case it really isn't - the IoT is poised to change data centers for the better and for all time, both in terms of data center professionals themselves and the services that they're able to offer to clients.

It might not be possible to literally see into the future, but thanks to the IoT and the real-time visibility that it offers, you can essentially do the next best thing. Intelligent, IoT driven solutions deployed across data centers make it possible for managers to identify situations that cause problems well in advance, allowing them to proactively take steps to protect a critical load and to mitigate risk BEFORE those issues have a chance to result in service disruptions or other downtimes.

Using the analytical prowess of the Internet of Things, it's also possible to manage resources more efficiently than ever before. You can instantly see not just how resources are being used today, but how they've been used yesterday and across their entire history. Making the choice to upgrade, change configurations and other adjustments are no longer things based on guesswork or institution - thanks to the IoT, it is truly possible to work "smarter, not harder" for the first time. 

Legrand has embraced the Internet of Things by launching the ElIoT (Electricity + IoT) program.  At Raritan, we have aligned with this global initiative with our intelligent power distribution units (IPDU), which provide intelligent power and energy monitoring to clients. For data center management professionals, this means that they now have access to the important, real-time insights they need based entirely on fact and analytics that can improve energy efficiency across the board.

The iPDUs provide an almost unprecedented level of visibility over your power infrastructure, built from the top down with components, failsafes, and other important features that offer not just a better functioning data center, but unwavering uptime and ultimately better service to clients.


Raritan’s intelligent PDU innovation comes on the heels of Legrand’s recent launch of its ElIoT (Electricity + IoT) program in North America.  ElIoT is a global Legrand IoT program that brings together Legrand's worldwide expertise to advance connectivity and intelligence in the built environment, mobilize Legrand’s capabilities around the world, speed development of Legrand connected devices and amplify communications wherever the Internet of Things can enhance value for all users. For more information on ElIoT, visit