How to deal with networking IoT devices
- The internet of things has such a good vary of use cases and individual devices that network architects ought to concentrate to a good combination of variables for communication, power, bandwidth, realibity, value and a lot of.
Networking IoT devices will be difficult for IT managers as a result of the communications necessities will be terribly completely different from those for typical PCs, tablets and smartphones presently connected to company networks.
In addition, there’s an out of this world diversity of IoT devices and the way they’re used. For example:
>>A auto is currently associate degree IT-intensive mobile workplace. it’s multiple IT systems (PCs, native trailing, cameras, sensors), which require bi-directional high speed, secure and reliable property.
>>Manufacturing sites accept a good vary of sensors and video cameras to watch the producing processes and guarantee safe, continuous operations. These sensors area unit typically in laborious to succeed in locations and need reliable, secure communications.
>>Deployment of police investigation cameras publicly settings is currently widespread owing to security issues. These cameras would like high speed, reliable communications to relay video (largely upstream) to a central location.
>>Many hospitals accept connected medical devices to trace their location and quickly realize the closest device. This use case incorporate low speed reliable connections for a good vary of devices.
Varying IoT connectivity requirements
In addition to the range of IoT use cases, there are literally hundreds of different types of IoT devices and sensors. Each has its unique requirements including the number of connections, the cost per connection, power availability and the amount of data transfer required, both upstream and downstream.
Depending on application, networks of IoT devices will require scalable, reliable, secure connectivity for remote devices and sensors. Perhaps the biggest challenge is providing low-cost connections to remote devices – some of which will use batteries and have no AC power supply.
IoT network requirements
Depending on the specific devices and applications involved, an IoT network may require:
- The ability to connect large numbers of heterogeneous IoT elements
- High reliability
- Real-time awareness with low latency
- The ability to secure all traffic flows
- Programmability for application customization
- Traffic monitoring and management at the device level
- Low cost connectivity for large number of devices/sensors
Impact of SDN and NFV on IoT network design
The advent of software-based networking technologies, such as SDN, NFV and SD-WAN, give network architects new tools to design flexible networks. NFV and SDN provide technology to customize the network to IoT requirements. NFV offers many virtual network functions (VNFs), including routing, security, gateways and traffic management that can be combined to deliver the customized network services required by IoT. SDN delivers the centralized managed capabilities to orchestrate and manage the data flows on highly distributed IoT networks.
Networks of IoT devices can create a tremendous amount of data – some of which needs to be analyzed in near-real-time. Due to latency and bandwidth limitations, not all data analysis can or should occur in a centralized location. IoT networks will need distributed analytics and business intelligence, often at or near the edge of the network.
Design considerations for IoT networks
There are a number of factors IT managers should consider when planning for IoT networks. The first level of questions is: What type of device or sensor will be connected? How many devices are there? What is the expected amount of traffic? The answers to these questions will drive the connectivity options along with overall network budgets for CAPEX and OPEX.
Other key questions include:
- Is the device/sensor fixed or mobile?
- What is the level of security required at the device level?
- Does the IoT data need to be analyzed in real time?
- Do the network and IT system need to control activity at the device or is it mainly passive?
- Does the device or sensor have access to AC power?
IT managers have a wide range of options to connect IoT devices and sensors. Each option has specific advantages and disadvantages, depending on application.
Four networking technologies that have widespread commercial adoption today are candidates for IoT networks:
- Bluetooth provides built-in wireless communications for many devices such as smartphones but has a limited range and reliability challenges.
- Wi-Fi is universally available for PCs, phones and tablets but requires a lot of power for ongoing connectivity.
- 4G LTE is pervasive and fast but can be expensive for high data use and power hungry.
- Ethernet enables high-speed LAN connections in almost all campus and branch locations but requires a physical cable to connect to IoT devices.
In addition, the communications industry has invented a number of new networking technologies designed specifically for connecting IoT devices. These include:
- IoT cellular, for which there are several standards such as LTE-M, NB LTE-M, and NB-IOT.
- Low power wide area networks, such as SigFox and LoRa, which are built specifically to address the requirements of low power (battery only) IoT devices.
- ZigBee is a wireless standard designed to connect machine-to-machine networks at low cost and low power requirements.
Impact of IoT on campus and branch networks
A significant consideration for many IT organizations is the impact of new IoT networks on existing campus, branch and wide area networks. IoT devices can create new traffic patterns, have large data flows and unique latency requirements.
The branch network typically has a moderate number of devices connected via Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Most branch locations do not have trained IT personnel and must be administered remotely. IT organizations are migrating to SD-WAN and SD-Branch technologies to cost effectively meet the increasing need for WAN bandwidth and to simplify remote network installation and administration. Connection of IoT devices at branch locations can mean new network technology to manage, challenges for remote troubleshooting, device-management issues and requirements for increased WAN bandwidth. Certain types of IoT applications may require significant local compute/storage capacity.
The field network will have massive numbers of devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, etc.) connected via Wi-Fi and local area network with a high capability local area network backbone for high-speed connections to the organization’s information center. The field network generally has trained IT personnel on-the-spot to handlenetworking problems – slow downs, interruptions in commission, etc. For the field network, IoT implementations willmean new networks to link remote sensors, large will increase within the variety of connected devices, challenges for device management and authentication and congestion on the present Wi-Fi network.
The IT intelligence enabled by connecting IoT devices and sensors is sanctioning organizations to produce higherclient service, deliver product quicker and to scale back prices via additional economical operations. The network, each native and wide space, may be a vital component within the implementation of secure, reliable and responsive IoT systems. The distinctive needs of individual styles of IoT systems need new kinds of network property and impact the present branch and field networks. several IT organizations have found it difficult to implement IoT platforms that meet the necessities of high dependability, low latency, security and centralized management.
Architecting for IoT property needs IT organizations to sift through a large variety of networking choices. IT leaders should fastidiously measure their current IoT networking needs in terms of information measure (upstream and down), dependability, security, and budget (costs). IoT networking needs and also the technology to attach to devices and things can still evolve. Networking architectures ought to be designed with flexibility and adaptableness to satisfydynamical business needs.