Why a future-ready network is essential for the IoT

Over the past few years, IT professionals have been asked to meet the challenges posed by a number of groundbreaking technological trends, including big data, virtualization, and BYOD. Lurking around the corner for most organizations are the demands of the Internet of Things (IoT). Actually, the IoT is already a part of the technology stew for many IT environments, and its impact is growing significantly. In an article for Network Computing, Steve Hilton, managing director at MachNation, forecasts an astounding growth rate for connected devices of 30 to 40 percent per year for at least the next 10 years. Hilton adds that “enterprises that prepare for these technology and business changes will find themselves better equipped to compete in global markets and create new, innovative ideas for their customers.”

IoT and the enterprise network

The enterprise network is a critical component of a successful IoT implementation. Accordingly, IT professionals need to be aware that, in most cases, traditional networks are not designed to handle the sometimes extreme demands of IoT. Networks must be able to collect data from widely distributed sensor devices and systems and transmit the data to applications that process and analyze the data. These applications could reside on intelligent “edge” of the network devices, in the “fog,” in the cloud, or in the data center. Flexibility is paramount because as new devices or applications are added, security procedures and network throughput levels must be reconfigurable on the fly.

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