The next wave of the Internet is just starting to develop, bringing with it a substantial market opportunity for companies that develop machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. Device servers provide the technology that enables M2M communications. Device servers typically come in embedded and external forms. They supply the intelligence that allows virtually any type of device to communicate over a network. Additionally, device servers provide the building blocks for distributed device intelligence, making M2M a reality.
Distributed Intelligence: In the past, device servers provided the connectivity to allow a discrete device—one that was never designed to communicate over a network—to be accessed, monitored, and controlled over a network. However, the intelligence for monitoring and responding to events was handled by an administrator, or in some cases, by computer software at the remote end. Now, device servers are evolving to include intelligence about the attached device, enabling them to locally monitor events, respond proactively, and provide notification on what has occurred.
Inherent intelligence: Distributed intelligence devices now can talk to each other, allowing events from one device to affect a change in another.
No longer just for personal benefits: This new intelligence opens up the possibilities for new revenue streams with active services and monitoring. It ultimately saves money by having systems automatically make adjustments or corrections to changing conditions. It also minimizes unnecessary service truck deployments.
Management and control: Having devices accessible over a network allow for management from virtually anywhere.
Fault detection: Devices on a network can proactively notify administrators of faults and, in many cases, even be programmed to automatically log and correct the fault.
Security (SSH, SSL, AES, etc.): Security is critical, specifically the importance of standard interfaces like SSH, SSL, and AES encryption. These are vital to protect device access, secure the data being transmitted, and ensure ease of deployment and acceptance by IT administrators and government agencies.