In Dr. Mallik Tatipamula’s second guest blog he discusses how networks will have to adapt to cope with IoT. Mallik is VP, Service Provider and Cloud Solutions at F5. This article highlights another of the main themes that F5 will be talking about this week at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.
On the face of it, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a fantastic development: billions of devices connected to the internet generating huge amounts of data about every aspect of life on earth. The possibilities are endless, from making us healthier to helping our homes be more energy efficient to helping vehicles move more efficiently through a city.
But for service providers, there are huge challenges ahead if they are to meet the expectations of the IoT. The devices that will drive the IoT will need fast and reliable connections, as will the new applications and services that will be developed, and the people and businesses that will be using them. These new devices will put networks under a huge strain in terms of coping with subscriber growth and the increase in data usage.
The challenge here is how to scale networks to meet the demands while improving performance, developing new and innovative services and increasing average revenue per user (ARPU). Many of these devices will offer service providers much lower ARPU - smart meters, for example, will not run up a huge services bill downloading YouTube videos.
Beyond that there will be new challenges from spikes in network signalling, increased DNS queries and IPv6 network addressing requirements that will be needed to cope with the huge number of devices that will be online. Service providers will need to be much more intelligent about scaling networks and increasing revenue.
The key is flexibility and extensibility in network design combined with increased network intelligence. This will ensure the much needed capabilities required to not only scale networks effectively but also to enable customized and profitable service offerings to support new revenue models.
A high-performance hybrid architecture enables service providers to virtualise their networks but still have purpose-built hardware and appliances within the network architecture to deal with scalability issues that will inevitably arise. It offers the opportunity to spin up and spin down services in a more cost-effective way. Increased network intelligence functions allow service providers to classify and differentiate all the various types of devices and the services they are connecting to, enabling them to more efficiently deliver profitable services.
A breadth of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) that can be easily integrated with various orchestration systems plus effective policy based dynamic service chaining will ensure profitable delivery of new services to the billions of connected things that are coming.
Ultimately, adding flexibility and intelligence into the network enables service providers to improve network efficiency, add targeted service offerings and more efficiently deliver services on a scale that will be able to cope with the Internet of Things, all while delivering greater revenue.