News Column

How to create an app-ready network, connect with trillion-dollar industry

July 11, 2014



With the opportunity to leverage off what Cisco CEO John Chambers has described as a $19 trillion industry, those who successfully construct app-ready networks will be in a strong position to benefit from what is widely acknowledged to spearhead the digital revolution: the Internet of Things (IOT).

The size, scope and wealth of opportunity that characterises IOT continue to attract the attention of businesses, especially industry leaders.

Kemp Technologies applied its knowledge and expertise, with extensive research, to draft a white paper on this industry and offer up its view of how businesses can tap into this potentially lucrative area of ICT development.

Kemp Technologies is the application-centric load balancer company currently leading the industry with price-to-performance advantages.

According to the company, IOT comprises every end node on the Internet and private network, as well as connected servers in the private or public cloud. It also encompasses the 'internetwork' itself.

Until recently, most end nodes were desktops, laptops, notebooks and smartphones, which were directly controlled by end-users through a browser, application or fat client.

The IOT extends the end node far beyond the human-centric world to encompass specialised devices with human-accessible interfaces (such as smart home thermostats and blood pressure monitors), and even those which lack human interfaces altogether (including industrial sensors, network-connected cameras and traditional embedded systems).

Explosion of data, devices

These network-connected devices are exploding in number, in location, in functionality, and in expectations.

Desmond Pillay, Africa Sales Country Manager, Kemp Technologies, reiterates statements made in its white paper regarding the proliferation of this technology and its impact on key market segments.

He mentions applications in the healthcare industry and the increasing rate of interconnectivity of many devices to a hospital's network, and with highly available and secure server-based applications. This facilitates remote monitoring, data logging and big data analytics to further bolster business.

Other examples of how infrastructure and the Internet continue to make a lasting difference to operations include businesses in retail, manufacturing, utilities and the advancing relevance of wearable technology and impact on consumer services.

Pillay agrees with research which suggests there are many examples of how IOT adds value to key market segments, including consumers, government and businesses. Specifically, he acknowledges an excerpt from the Kemp Technologies report, which states that as IOT grows, the need for real-time scalability to handle dynamic traffic bursts also increases.

According to the report: "There may be the need to handle very low-bandwidth small data streams such as a sensor identifier and a status bit on a door sensor or large high-bandwidth streams, like high-definition video from a security camera. There is almost always the need for encryption as well. The scope of the IOT is huge. In some cases, such as apps running on a smartphone, the IOT end node may be a sophisticated mobile computer linked across a cellular data network, with unpredictable connectivity and periods when the app is unavailable or the device is out of radio range. In others, the end node may be a low-powered embedded microcontroller with sensors, hard wired to an industrial network and running 24/7."

Drivers pushing IOT

The Internet of Things serves as the foundation for the development of browsers and mobile apps and commercial networks. To sustain this influence and achieve the level of application, this resource is driven by several enabling technologies.

Kemp Technologies identifies these as ubiquitous powerful computers, Internet/ LAN connectivity, reliable sensory input, cost-effective cloud-based storage and processing long-lasting electrical power.

While there is rapid growth, there are also challenges. Pillay says issues like huge amounts of traffic including bursts, maintaining fast response time and quality of service, security, privacy and regulatory compliance, represent difficulties. However, he is confident of the market's potential for growth and maturity to overcome these hurdles and transfer the benefit to businesses.

Development of load balancer and application delivery controller (ADC) infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with enabling forces laying the foundation for this growth.

As Kemp Technologies has described in detail, enabling the IOT is the load balancer and the ADC, network functions virtualisation (NFV) and service chaining. The IOT is the future of networking, and the application load balancing capabilities of the ADC are the keys to building and scaling successful IOT solutions.


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Source: ITWeb


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