Data Centers Need to Adapt to the Internet of Things

 In Data, Network

With the widespread use of cloud, many employees need network connectivity to get their jobs done.

With the internet of things, many devices need network connectivity to get their jobs done, too. From smart lightbulbs to connected HVAC systems in the data center, IoT devices are placing additional demands on data centers.

IoT Impact on Data Centers

The primary impact of all those IoT devices is creating additional load on networks, with many connected devices creating contention for network resources. Machine-to-machine traffic can eat up a significant amount of bandwidth. In addition, the directionality of that traffic is often directed into the data center, rather than heading out of it. Devices that perform real-time analytics to make smart real-time decisions need a low latency, fast network that can handle a high volume of traffic. Existing network designs may not have capacity where it’s needed to support the device communications.

Not only is it possible that existing designs won’t be adequate, it’s possible that any changes you make to your network design won’t be adequate in the long term, either. Devices that receive updates from their manufacturer can change their behavior in unexpected ways. Network teams need to become more agile so they can respond to these kinds of changes rapidly. There may need to be additional controls in place to manage or limit how IoT devices are added, in order to ensure there’s no impact on other applications and end users.

Security also becomes a bigger issue with IoT device data. There are many more devices needing security and a high volume of traffic, with security complicated by the fact that many IoT devices have limited processing capability for encryption. They also often have low-security administrative interfaces. Because many of the devices are out at the network edge, security that’s focused on protecting systems inside the network core needs to expand to consider edge security, too. Firewalls and segregated networks are key to achieving security given these limitations.

IoT devices have been leveraged in numerous security attacks, but tracking vulnerabilities and applying patches is challenging given the number of devices. Companies may need to take additional steps to detect and manage vulnerabilities in these systems, including strategies for disconnecting problematic devices.

Get Your Network Ready for the Internet of Things

IT teams often have their hands full simply supporting networks with their existing end users; handling the additional network design, monitoring, and support that the Internet of Things requires is beyond their capabilities. Network services from Prescient Solutions take this burden off your team, ensuring the network has capacity and security to support all users—including devices. Contact us to learn more about how to adapt your network as your data center fills up with smart devices.

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