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This year’s worldwide IoT day, coincided with a telling forecast as to what the future might hold for the use of IoT. Juniper research has predicted that IoT connections will soar to 83 billion by 2024, but this raises questions as to how network infrastructure will cope and how a huge number of devices will be kept secure. Simon Pamplin, director of technical sales at Silver Peak, comments below:

“IoT Day only started back in 2010, which really evidences just how new these technologies are in the overall tech landscape. It seems every few months there’s yet more research highlighting how many new IoT connections are now active or planned for the coming years. IDC recently forecast 75 billion connections by 2025, and since then Juniper has upped the ante predicting 83 billion by 2024.

“Whether these numbers are conservative or overly ambitious remains to be seen. Either way, they’re huge figures and no one can deny that IoT is a key growth area in tech, offering use cases in every conceivable industry. The key question, however, is whether the infrastructure is in place to take full advantage of the benefits that IoT offers.

“The data generated by so many devices, and the insights that data can provide, are well documented, but there will need to be a rearchitecting of current industry network infrastructure to realise the full extent of these benefits. These huge data volumes will demand a smarter, agile and automated network infrastructure that can scale in-line with the expanding need.

“To achieve this, businesses will need three core elements: visibility, security and agility. Complete observability of the network is key. It takes the guesswork out of rapid problem resolution, enabling organisations to apply preventive measures to maintain network performance and reliability.

“In terms of security, IoT traffic must be isolated from other application traffic. IT must prevent – or at least reduce – the possible attack surface that may be exposed to IoT device traffic. Also, the network must continue delivering other application traffic in the event of congestion or an outage on an underlying WAN link caused by a DDoS attack.

“With the increased number of connected devices, applications and users, a comprehensive, intelligent and centralised orchestration approach that continuously adapts to deliver the best experience to the business and users is critical to maintaining agility and competitive edge.

“IoT is an undeniably huge market, and we should take a day to recognise just how monumental a shift across all industry sectors it has the potential to cause. That said, as the number of connections grows exponentially, we need to think about whether our networks are keeping step, or whether we’re simply burdening them with extra devices they’re not yet ready to handle.” 

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