The Internet of things has a wide variety of use cases and individual devices that network architects should pay attention to a wide combination of communication variables, power, bandwidth, reliability, cost and more.
Network IoT devices can be a challenge for IT administrators because the communication requirements can be very different from those of typical PCs, tablets and smartphones currently connected to corporate networks.
Various connectivity prerequisites for IoT
Additionally, to the range of IoT make use of cases, there use be factually hundreds of various types of IoT sensors and devices.
Each use to have its single requirements, which include the number of connections, the cost per connection, the availability of energy and the amount of data transfer required, both upstream and downstream.
Depending on the application, networks of IoT devices will require scalable, reliable and safe connectivity for remote sensors and devices.
Maybe the biggest dispute use to be providing inexpensive IoT technology stack to the remote devices, some of which will use batteries and will not have an AC power supply.
Network requirements for IoT based on the precise devices and applications occupied, an IoT network may necessitate
- IoT devices connected to large amounts of heterogeneous IoT elements
- High reliability
- Real-time awareness with low latency
- Ability to ensure all traffic flows
- Programmability for application customization
- Monitoring and management of device-level traffic
- Low-cost connectivity for large number of devices / sensors
This list of requirements is a challenge and may require IT administrators to implement multiple network connections depending on the IoT application.
Impact of SDN and NFV on the design of the IoT network
The advent of software-based network technologies, such as SDN, NFV and SD-WAN, offers network architects new tools to design flexible networks.
NFV and SDN provide technology to customize the network according to IoT requirements. NFV offers many virtual network (VNF) functions, including routing, security, gateways and traffic management that can be combined to deliver the custom network services required by IoT.
SDN offers centralized managed capabilities to orchestrate and manage data flows in highly distributed IoT networks.
The challenge of big data
IoT device networks can create a lot of data, some of which must be analyzed almost in real time. Due to latency and bandwidth limitations, not all data analyzes can or should occur in a centralized location.
IoT networks will need distributed analysis and business intelligence, often at or near the edge of the network.
Four network technologies that have wide commercial adoption today are candidates for IoT networks
Bluetooth provides integrated wireless communications for many devices, such as smartphones, but has a limited range and reliability challenges.
The Wi-Fi is available universally for PC, phones and tablets, but requires a lot of energy for continuous connectivity.
4G LTE is penetrating and fast, but it can be expensive for high data usage and high power consumption.
Ethernet allows high-speed LAN connections in almost all campus and branch locations, but requires a physical cable to connect to IoT devices.
Cellular IoT, for which there are several standards such as LTE-M, NB LTE-M and NB-IOT.
Wide-area, low-power networks, that are specifically designed to meet the requirements of low-power IoT devices (battery only).
ZigBee is a wireless device are used to connect IoT designed to connect machine-to-machine networks at low cost and low power consumption.