Future-proofing networks for the ‘Internet of Things’

Future-proofing networks for the ‘Internet of Things’
Samer Ismair, MEMA Network Consultant, Brocade.
Published: 9 January 2014 - 10:25 a.m.
By: Samer Ismair

Advancements in technology over the past decade have been so rapid that devices that generate, process, transmit and store data are now cheaper and more accessible than ever before.

Smart, Internet-enabled devices have penetrated every aspect of everyday life and their numbers are only set to rise. Research firm IDATE predicts that 80bn things will be connected to the Internet by 2020, leading to a phase that industry experts have termed as the 'Internet of Things'. This trend, coupled with the exponentially growing volumes of traffic from traditional sources will require a fresh set of network investments.

With the Internet of Things now an imminent reality, Middle East network providers have their work cut out for them. It is an opportunity, albeit one that entails significant challenges. As promising new technologies continue to emerge, regional network operators must meticulously plan their investments in order to build the high-performance, future-proof networks of tomorrow.

As a first step, organisations in the Middle East that have not done so already, must consider virtualisation. Now the de facto industry standard, virtualisation brings the uncontrolled growth of hardware in the data centre to a halt. By virtualising servers and applications, and adapting their network topologies accordingly, companies can improve performance in the data centres without bearing cost overheads.

Mobile and cloud services have increased reliability and scalability requirements of the data centre and virtualisation addresses these issues too. But to effectively build, expand and monitor virtualised networks, operators must closely examine the physical, virtual and control layers of their infrastructures.

Requirements of the on-demand data centre

With consumers increasingly subscribing to on-demand services, data centre requirements have evolved. In addition to being the solid base which provides physical connectivity between applications, servers, and storage, the data centre is now the epicentre of IT innovation. For organisations looking for greater flexibility in their data centres, fabric network topology is essential. Compared to classic hierarchical Ethernet architectures, Ethernet fabrics provide higher levels of performance, utilisation, availability, and simplicity. A fabric approach is also far more suitable for working with highly virtualised data centres.


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