The Internet of Things (IoT) presents a wealth of possibilities for automating business processes, improving healthcare, and providing better insight for business decisions. Many enterprises are launching fleets of IoT devices in an effort to collect relevant data and better manage their processes, but two major challenges present a problem for the expansion of the IoT:
- Security issues become more complex with the IoT, because there are so many access points for hackers. In addition, the enterprise may struggle to identify every one of the many cloud services that a device connects to in its transmissions.
- Network connectivity is required for each of the devices to be able to connect with computing resources in an efficient way.
These interrelated challenges can be answered with software-defined networking (SDN). The increasing use of the IoT happens to coincide with the purpose and workload available with SDN, providing a way for each to become an efficient and effective resource.
Those familiar with the intricacies of networking understand why SDN is such a perfect pairing for the IoT. At the heart of SDN is the separation of data payloads from the controlling data that determines where the messages travel. The separation of these two types of data goes a long way in solving the two most important challenges of the IoT.
Security: When it comes to security, IoT devices are most secure when they are operated on a separate network. This is because it makes most sense to secure the devices at the network level, rather than at the individual device level. In many cases, it is impractical to have IoT devices on a separate physical network.
SDN allows for the creation of private virtual networks that are overlaid on the physical network, providing a way to keep IoT devices separated on the network but without the complexity of traditional virtual private network technologies.
Network connectivity: Many of the applications that the IoT supports are time-sensitive, so connectivity is a priority. It makes sense to have the computing near where the data is being used. When you consider an IoT scenario involving autonomous cars, the need for real-time data transmission for immediate decision-making becomes clear. SDN is a good fit for keeping network support close to the IoT fleet, because it cannot tolerate jitter or latency.
A move to the edge: The combined use of IoT with SDN is one of the main catalysts for moving computing power to the edge of the network. The challenge of navigating distributed and dynamic application deployments requires the unique combination of SDN and the IoT, and the IoT will falter if it does not have the supportive technology of SDN.
Choosing the right network for your enterprise can be a bit overwhelming. Truth Comm guides you to the network that will address both the size and scalability necessary for your business needs. Contact us today to learn more.