Now you can believe the hype

OASIS makes MQTT gold standard for Internet of Things

Chris Mayer

Is OASIS’s seal of approval exactly what the Internet of Things needs to meet its lofty goals?

The term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has
generated a lot of column inches in recent months. Back in
January, analysts Gartner stated that the area would

in the next three years, with
enterprises set to “initiate pilot projects in 2013” to ready
themselves for the boom period. Cisco estimates the “business
opportunity” for IoT to be worth $14.4 trillion for

For the uninitiated in the dark arts of
marketing terms, ‘the Internet of Things’ is essentially the next
logical step for cloud and big data technologies – a network of
interconnected low footprint devices, such as sensors, that
captures events and interact with each other. For example,
collecting data from a network of blood pressure sensors in a
hospital to the Internet allows you to create modern applications
with that data.

In the past week alone, there have
two big announcements centred on IoT. Pivotal,
the newly formed company from VMware and EMC’s data and cloud
assets, announced their new platform Pivotal One, with a heavy
focus on advanced networking between embedded devices. IBM also
unveiled their strategy at their annual Impact conference, taking
the covers off new appliance MessageSight, capable of handling the
reams of messages incoming from embedded devices.

You’d assume with all the hype that the
technology underpinning IoT would be new, but this isn’t the case.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies such as MQTT (Message Queue
Telemetry Transport), have been around for well over a decade.
There are a number of reasons why it has taken this long to reach
fruition though. As we know, it is far easier (and cheaper) to
store and process large amounts of data in today’s climate.
Embedded devices are far more powerful and indeed plentiful,
because of cost, and the network infrastructure is far more

The Eclipse Foundation has acted as the hub for the
M2M ecosystem in recent years, with a number of intriguing open
source projects pushing the envelope in open standards. These
include the M2M tools project Koneki, embedded
framework Mihini and
Paho, for
developing open messaging implementations. These efforts have been
the result of the M2M Industry Working Group, bringing together
companies to discuss new solutions and discuss the lack of
interoperability in the space. (Editor’s Note –
Benjamin Cabé’s overview
does a great job of outlining
Eclipse’s involvement)

If we are really going to see
50 billion connected devices
by 2020, then a
standard must be in place to drive adoption. Arguably this week’s
most important news in that case was the announcement that
standards body OASIS have given their seal of approval to MQTT
being the messaging protocol of choice.

A newly created OASIS MQTT Technical Committee
will now work towards developing a standardised version of the
publish/subscribe messaging transport protocol, after original
authors IBM and Eurotech gave their blessing. Being endorsed by
industry heavyweights Red Hat, Cisco and Software AG (who will also
provide engineers to the project) should help MQTT became the
lingua franca for IoT.

“We applaud IBM and Eurotech for bringing MQTT
into the OASIS open standards process. Companies feel more
confident about implementing the protocol when they can actively
participate in its future. said Laurent Liscia, OASIS

Much like the HTTP protocol did before, a standard
protocol should really help pave the way towards acceptance, and
crucially for enterprises, attain the astronomical figures many
analysts are placing heavily on the Internet of Things.

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