The Internet of Things (or IoT) will require a network that can deal with increased demand for data security, agility, and analytics.
If there’s no supporting network, there can be no IoT. Gadgets and sensors will collect increasingly tremendous amounts of data. However, IoT is way more than just displays and gadgets; the amount of data collected will severely impact the network, and the networking industry needs to assess potential implications.
Data analytics, agile networking, and Internet Security and Firewalls are the three areas of the IoT that will impact the network. Let’s view these areas closely.
If analytics aren’t there, data is quite useless. The sensors will generate substantial amounts of data that will require some processing. For manufacturers, the sensors or post-sale service can be constantly tracked in real-time using machine-to-machine sensors to detect warranty issues or malfunctions. By analyzing the buying preferences of the customers and sensor data, real-time promotions can be sent.
These novel capabilities made available across every industry will not just increase the demand for business intelligence, but the amount of data as well. It is vital to think about the back end implications this will offer to the network.
The tremendous volume of data will amplify the drive toward a cloud-based data center as efficiently moving data to the cloud, and extracting intelligence become quite crucial tasks.
The IoT will impact everyone at the individual and professional levels, while industries will leverage the availability of machine-to-machine communication and sensors. In agriculture, irrigation systems will operate depending on a plethora of inputs, including data from moisture sensors and weather forecasts. The oil drilling equipment and manufacturing plants will be entirely wired on sensor networks. The use of advanced analytics will reduce the drilling times that can improve operation based on past events while also predicting conditions.
The huge data volume created by the IoT will have a significant impact on the networking systems used today. Deep analytics will entail real-time event response and distributed data centers. The agile, fast networks are critical to allow the real-time analysis of sensor data. Given these requirements, it’s quite unlikely that the networks of today will stand up to the demands of 2020.
As a likely solution, even software-defined networking only starts to address certain needs in the cloud data center. However, it is a solid start in the right direction.
Hyper-connectivity will threaten the people in more ways than they could imagine. We need to think about how to safeguard against inevitable threats to the system. The power grids will be more efficient, and consumer interactions like net metering will drive the integration of information technology (or IT) and operational technology (or OT).
However, the integration of IT and OT opens the door for external threats. Cars will be controlled by applications and will be able to drive themselves. However, this may also create opportunities for hackers. Homes and businesses will become increasingly hackable. It is important that the networking industry works now to ensure security within these networks of tomorrow.
The IoT represents big changes underway across every industry. As sensors become more common at work and in the home, it is easy to imagine a future overtaken by connected devices, objects, and a network that is not prepared for it. We need to start thinking proactively about our role as an industry and begin solving the problems of a not-too-distant tomorrow.