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Back to the Future: How Old Technology is Inspiring Automation’s Future

  • by: Rebecca Giuliani
  • On: 28, Sep 2021
2 min read

The fashion industry has long claimed that a look comes back every twenty years. Today, it rings true, both on the catwalk as well as the tech world.

In the eighties and nineties, tech firms were creating a variety of solutions, some clunky, some downright bizarre. Amid all that, there was the occasional, bright spark that was often ahead of its time or worked so well they continue to be used almost three decades later.

Today, there are plenty of instances where the underlying infrastructure is still based on the advancements of the eighties and nineties. Surprisingly, this can be seen even in today’s biggest technological focus – automation.

VHR’s Technology and Cyber recruitment specialists take a closer look at how old technology has influenced new automation.

Cloud platforms are based on old protocols

Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) was created as a low-overhead protocol that could accommodate the CPU and bandwidth limitations that plagued the early development of PCs and networking.

In short, it was designed to offer an effective and reliable communication path.

It was initially developed as a proprietary protocol to make communication easier with SCADE systems in the oil and gas industry. However, its ease of connectivity has led to it being the leading protocol for connecting IoT and IIoT devices.

This ease of use makes it simple to add value and easily bring new benefits to a myriad of industries including smart energy, smart manufacturing and more. The end result was a solution that eclipsed the normal end to end connection and created one that decoupled data users from data producers.

Compared to other protocols, MQTT has many advantages that make it well suited for cloud applications.

For instance, being event driven, MQTT clients only send data when specific conditions are met. Due to this, devices save on battery consumption and energy. Additionally, only one way communication is required for data transmissions.

MQTT also offers many to many communication. Thanks to this publish-subscribe model, machines are required to only create a connection with the broker and do not have to directly connect to each other, saving time on authentication. And with only the broker required to handle all communication, developers and businesses enjoy a more reliable data connection.

As with all things Internet, security is an important consideration and it’s an aspect MQTT excels at. The protocol supports passwords and account names, helping prevent unauthorized users from connecting and subscribing. With additional support for TLS encryption, data transmissions are largely free of hacking worries.

The very concept of cloud computing

Long before “cloud computing” was a buzz, large scale organizations were already using big data, IoT and real time monitoring – albeit in comparatively primitive form.

Salesforce successfully integrated Cloud Computing in 1999, using the Internet to deliver software to buyers. This program could be downloaded by any user or business with Internet.

Three years later, Amazon debuted its internet-based retail services. Not only was Amazon among the first to step into that space but it was also at the forefront in solving the issue of using only 10% of their computing capacity. The Cloud Computing Infrastructure Model, although in its infancy, gave Amazon the flexibility in effectively maximizing computer capacity. This would be soon adopted by other large organizations and serve as a framework even in 2021.

The road for the future of automation has already been paved; today it’s all about refining and developing the existing software and hardware to suit our requirements.

Find out more about the future of automation.

Looking for a Technology or Cyber Security job? Take a look at VHR’s openings.

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