Enabling the Internet of Things is big part of the New IP. Service providers must build their networks today with the agility, scalability and flexibility to handle the IoT traffic of tomorrow, which will consist of billions of connections. Most of these will carry very small amounts of traffic but much of that traffic will have latency and other special requirements.
Just how much traffic will that be? Verizon's latest state of the market IoT report says today it manages more than 15 million IoT-enabled connections and that number only reflects 10% of enterprises.
Imagine the year 2020 when that number increases to 5.4 billion devices, according to ABI Research. By then, IoT will be pervasive in many verticals, including manufacturing, energy and utilities, smart cities and transportation. As a result, service providers' networks will have to be intelligent and able to process, filter and analyze data at the edge of the network in order to make fast decisions.
Verizon's report breaks down the challenge and impact to networks into four categories:
Networking: (New acronym alert!) In the near future, personal area networks (PANs) will become commonplace. PANs will use the connectivity of smartphones, cars and home-broadband based gateways to simplify the management of a person's devices. Supporting the PANs will be WANs and cloud platforms to share, host and process data. Scalability, capacity and resiliency will be critical to PANs and WANs, according to the Verizon report.
Cloud computing: As those millions and billions of IoT devices gather data, that data must be stored reliability and securely, and also be available to other people and systems. Infrastructure has to support all this, too. This is where the cloud comes in.
Security: IoT is already changing the way the industry thinks about security and privacy because every sensor, device and connection that gathers and transmits data is a potential risk. The report offers a list of things that businesses can do to protect IoT solutions with the number one item being: build security in from the start –- something New IP readers are familiar with hearing about.
Device management: Another big challenge is device management because as IoT grows, it will increase both the volume and variety of mobile devices and machines that need to be provisioned, secured, managed and decommissioned, according to the report.
Deploying New IP networks and services requires not only a new way of thinking but also a new way of building platforms and services, and getting there is not easy, especially when it comes to orchestration.