IoT and Globalization Put Networking in Spotlight
by July 28, 2017

Filed under: Industry Insights

Networking association MEF started the push toward SD-WAN standards recently. It’s a sign of the maturity of the technology, which is becoming a part of more organizations’ network infrastructures. MEF is developing a lifecycle service orchestration framework and open APIs, with the goal of consistency around communicating among SD-WAN components. Several leading SD-WAN vendors are on board. The Open Networking User Group has also started a push toward developing SD-WAN APIs.

This take on SD-WAN points out that to really transform the network to something that’ll keep up with modern technology needs, SD-WAN needs to become more global. Now, the author says, it’s still essentially a complement to MPLS instead of a replacement for it. The internet wasn’t designed to be a global networking platform, and so SD-WAN isn’t the panacea for the needs of enterprise networks today (namely, cost-effectiveness and redundancy). The gist here is that a new type of SD-WAN carrier is needed, one that’s more predictable for continuous connectivity.

In other future-looking IT analysis, EMA recently surveyed IT network professionals working on IoT projects to get a read on how IoT is affecting them. More than half—52%—said that IoT had either introduced or made blind spots worse in the network monitoring architecture. Monitoring with IoT in the mix has also brought scalability issues to these survey respondents, mostly because IoT adds so many devices to the network. Finding rogue IoT network devices is also a challenge for 23% of respondents. In response, networking teams working with IoT are upgrading the data processing capacity of monitoring tools and upgrading licenses to deal with device volume, plus adding better monitoring granularity.

IoT is just one driver of the growing edge computing trend, in which the necessary data processing takes place at the edge of the network, near the source of the data, whether IoT or another type of workload. This can increase reaction time a lot, which is critical for user experience. Sending the data back and forth to a central cloud slows down processing time, which may be OK for some non-critical apps or functions. Edge and cloud computing will likely exist together at some future point, and IT teams, ideally, can perfect the mix that’s right for their distributed business.

And finally, the goal tying some of these pieces together is reflected in SD-WAN and cloud providers’ partnering for better, easier connectivity. This may be a welcome trend for IT teams managing remote locations and trying to find the right balance of tools and technology for end-user experience. Vendors in both the SD-WAN and cloud markets are also working toward the right products to make it easier—one, for example, allows customers to match SD-WAN services with specific apps by policy and deliver from any location. It’s all a brave new world that will keep evolving.

Till next week, keep exploring to see what your IT infrastructure might look like in another decade.