Smart Network Via Cloud: The Principle of Simplicity, Clarity and Comprehensibility

by Shailendra Trivedi, Sr. Director Sales – Public Networks, R&M India

Shailendra Trivedi
Shailendra Trivedi, Sr. Director Sales – Public Networks, at R&M India

Smart networks are helpful tools for data centers. But anyone wanting to introduce a smart network can decide how it is to be implemented and designed. There are two approaches to be compared.

In general, elements of the global IoT are broadly categorized into sensor, network and data processing. The sensor, an important device, captures useful information, which is transmitted through the network layer to the cloud server immediately and stored there. By using proper communication technology with the corresponding communication protocol, this process provides effective file access, data sharing and resource utilization. The sensing information obtained from artificial intelligence processing or big data analysis is stored in the cloud server for future analysis. A high-performance, highly reliable virtual cloud server has many features including small size, balanced resources, low price and good burst capability of the CPU and network.

Current IoT technology has yet to achieve the characteristics of ‘unity’, ‘integration’ and ‘simplicity’. IoT technology cannot easily achieve a uniform format and a consistent specification without the characteristic of unity. Each IoT device introduces unique specifications and functions, making communication between the devices difficult. On demand of the specific application, a large number of IoT devices need to be used. Moreover, IoT devices can be individually controlled using mobile phones. Therefore, the cost and size of IoT devices can only be reduced by data and resource sharing. Furthermore, IoT devices must be simplified to cater to the needs of users. The use of various communication methods for IoT results in many technical problems concerning the complexity of communication protocols, high power consumption, communication disconnection and low security strength, severely restricting IoT’s market expansion.

Like many other services, the IoT layer of the smart network architecture can be configured in-house or via the cloud. As is often the case, for data centers it is important to ensure that production is as efficient as possible right from the outset. When it comes to IoT, anyone wanting to work exclusively in-house and on internal servers will lose important efficiency advantages. The benefits of IoT will definitely increase if it can be configured and adapted as easily as possible. The principle of simplicity, clarity and comprehensibility is unbeatable. But what does simple mean and what increases the benefits? We predict that in the future this will be the step into the cloud. Everyone is assuming that the IoT hardware will be able to connect to the cloud. Here, a suitable, uniform interface will bring everything together. This is where those responsible will configure, visualize and monitor their IoT layers. This is where they will organize updates, audits and much more. Installations on clients and internal libraries will become obsolete.

A comparison: The digital devices in a Smart Home that would be the IoT components in a data center can be conveniently merged in the cloud, and configured and operated centrally using tablets.

The advantages: Self-explanatory processes, low entry barriers, fast acceptance. Everything is simpler.

Security and Performance

The development of a cloud solution based on smart networks shows what is particularly important in this approach. Along with the intuitive operation of an interface, security is essential. But security does not have to be complex because there are plenty of tried and tested open standards. These include TLS and other open standards, the security technology for online banking and credit card transactions. Over and over again, the industry demonstrates proprietary protection concepts based on the credo ‘security through obscurity’. But such concepts are in fact anything but transparent for users. They are out of the question. Similarly, data center providers should exercise caution if a provider is not clearly committed to open standards and protocols. This limits the interoperability of the systems and can result in security gaps remaining open for a long time. Finally, performance must be taken into account.

Management systems often prove to be cumbersome and thus less useful than they might be. And in fact, bottlenecks can be prevented right from the design stage. It would seem obvious to fall back on simple and open standards, such as HTTP/HTTPS and MQTT. Two further arguments show the benefit of the cloud approach: Flexibility and centralization. A cloud platform can quickly integrate other DCIM tasks, such as asset tracking or MAC planning, due to its flexibility. Operators can centralize in the cloud with smart networks of several data centers or decentralized edge data centers.