Today’s infrastructure needs to be fully IoT enabled

By Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO at Netshield South Africa.

Businesses globally need to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive digital transformation and remain competitive. With the massive costs associated with capturing and analysing the flood of data that is drowning today’s enterprises, businesses that are not investing in IoT-enabled technologies risk being left behind.

There’s no doubt the IoT brings a multitude of benefits, through connected devices and supporting systems that will enhance business and personal lives through the introduction of improved experiences and services. In addition, the IoT helps to tailor products to drive new business models, automate processes to lower response times, and help businesses understand and improve operations in real time. The data created by the IoT will also help businesses to more accurately predict trends and market demands, and take the appropriate actions.

In fact, Forrester Research reports that 82% of organisations will have IoT applications implemented into their business in some way this year. Businesses are waking up to the fact that remaining competitive in their arenas is significantly influenced by their ability to collect, manage and analyse data. And as millions more IoT enabled devices are being used, the amounts of data are only going to increase.

Unfortunately, the massive amounts of data created by the IoT equals equally demanding processing needs, and too many enterprises simply don’t have infrastructure that is up to the challenge. Yesterday’s infrastructure simply wasn’t designed and constructed with effectively processing this flood of data in mind.

This is why the IoT is bringing new and vital considerations for enterprises, as they gear up for today’s digital world. And nowhere is this more true than in the data centre.

Today’s data centres and self-contained cabinets (SCC) need to be 100% IoT and cloud-enabled, to allow customers to take advantage of full AMQP and MQTT capabilities, as well SNMP functionality. Having these protocols in the SCCs ensures that customers’ cabinets can easily communicate with, or link into, any cloud or IoT-enabled service, such as full integration with public cloud services such as Azure or AWS. It also allows customers to deploy their SCC in a multi- or single tenant environment.

Another key benefit of such features, is that customers can view multiple installations of the SCCs in their environment through a single pane of glass, allowing them to make quantified decisions on environmental factors, for example power consumption, heating, cooling, moisture and suchlike, that affect the individual installations, and then compare the results of each cabinet in order to define the best environmental conditions for each one.

An example of this would be if certain cabinets are experiencing consistently high temperatures where they are deployed, or there are several failures on the UPSs, they can then draw comparisons between multiple installations and use the data to evaluate downtime and take corrective action to fix the problems.

Having such added intelligence to the SCC also allows the IT department to better manage their service level agreements, both internally as well as with third party suppliers or systems integrators, using the data collected.

Having full IoT capability, also ensures that SCCs can be managed within a private network, and can connect to the cloud allowing them to be remotely managed through a dashboard in either a public or hybrid cloud environment. The applications are many. Multiple branch offices, for example, or buildings with several floors who do not want to bear the expense of building a full datacentre per floor to support communications distribution on each.

Features such as these would also allow partners to use SCCs not just to manage their networking environment, but also to insert or attach blades that host a cloud service, such as Azure, giving them the ability to offer not only the physical infrastructure (IaaS), but Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well.

Ultimately, the implementation of an IoT solution can help a business reduce the cost of ownership, as you do not need to maintain the server, storage, database or IoT gateway, only the device itself. This enables businesses to focus on core issues and not day-to-day maintenance.

There’s no question that the Internet of Things, through multiple connected devices, is placing significant demands on networks and data centres, to a point where IoT-enabled infrastructure is becoming more and more crucial when designing tomorrow’s networks.

Planning for a connected future, means having the IoT top of mind at all times. As the number of devices and the market continues to soar over the next few years, infrastructure must evolve too. Infrastructure must have specific features and capabilities to keep up with the increasingly connected universe, this will ensure that networks and data centres are future-proof to help enterprises reap the benefits of this connected world.

Read more about the Netshield Self-Contained Cabinet