Why IoT needs Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Software defined networking (SDN), with its ability to intelligently route traffic and take advantage of underutilized network resources will help stop the data flood of IoT. Cisco has a pretty aggressive IoT strategy, and they place their application centric infrastructure version of SDN at the centre of this. And it makes sense. Software is still the main ingredient that can be used to combat network bandwidth challenges.

Lori MacVittie8 agrees with SDN being a critical enabler, but only if SDN considers all of the network layers from 2 to 7, and not just stateless 2-4. “Moving packets around optimally isn’t easy in a fixed and largely manually driven network. That’s why SDN is increasingly important when data volumes increase and do so in predictable waves. SDN can provide the means to automatically shift the load either in response or, optimally, in anticipation of those peak waves.”

The network challenges in IoT do not stop at bandwidth and volumes of data. Applications will be required to deal with the peak loads of data, so services will be required in layers 4-7 that provide for scale, security and performance of those apps.

Figure 5: Stateless vs Stateful in SDN Application Services [8]

SDN has features that will also be particularly useful. Dynamic load management should allow users to monitor and orchestrate bandwidth automatically on the fly, which will be music to the ears of global IoT providers. Service chaining will enable application specific processing procedures in a sequence fashion to a client’s job. This should ease management overhead in IoT services, as the subscriptions increase globally. One of the coolest features of SDN is bandwidth calendaring which will allow the user to schedule the traffic an application will need at a given time, and when you think of a sensor only wanting to communicate at periodic times, it is apparent that this will be a great asset.

But this cannot happen soon. Data center managers will have to modernize their infrastructures. Once they do, a potential big win would be the ability to create numerous virtual and private networks on top of a single physical network. This would be a big advantage as multiple customers could then share a single network, without risk for their applications and data. However, for this to work, one would need the entire network to be SDN enabled.

When one considers the concept of Network Functional Virtualization (NFV), this path can be traversed quicker. With NFV ready networks, carriers can create services in software, rather than dedicated hardware, essentially allowing virtualized servers to allow these new services. This enables business transformation by moving away from having multiple isolated networks, and one would work with an open ecosystem, a set of virtualized network functions, and most importantly an orchestration layer. This will allow businesses to accelerate with agility in the face of device quantity explosion.

Reference:

8: Dev Central: SDN and IoT article

https://devcentral.f5.com/articles/sdn-is-important-to-iot-if-it-covers-the-entire-network

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deniscanty

DENIS CANTY IS EXCITED TO BEGIN IN JULY 2017 WITH MCKESSON, A FORTUNE 5 COMPANY – AS THEIR SENIOR DIRECTOR OF CYBER SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IN CORK. HIS LAST ROLE (TO JUNE 2017) WAS AS THE LEAD TECHNOLOGIST FOR IOT WITH JOHNSON CONTROLS INNOVATION GROUP BASED IN CORK, IRELAND. THAT ROLE MEANT COLLABORATING EXTENSIVELY BETWEEN HIS TECHNICAL AND SALES TEAMS TO DRIVE FURTHER COMMERCIALISATION OPPORTUNITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY (BOTH OUR OWN AND PARTNERS/STARTUPS) INTO OUR SALES CHANNELS, SPECIFICALLY LOOKING AT THE EMERGING SMART BUILDING MARKET. THE PROJECTS INCLUDE OUR EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES – BUILDING SECURITY, RETAIL, HVAC AND BUILDING ENERGY – AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS IOT, AR AND MACHINE LEARNING. A KEY COMPONENT WAS TAKING KEY INPUT FROM NUMEROUS STAKEHOLDERS AND PROCESSES TO DELIVER ROI FOR CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS. HE THEN LED THE TEAM TO BUILD AND DEPLOY THE SOLUTIONS IN AN LEAN AGILE MANNER. DENIS SPOKE ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT FOR JOHNSON CONTROLS AT NUMEROUS TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCES. HIS LEADERSHIP STYLE IS LEADERSHIP THROUGH TRUST AND DELIVERY, AND I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY TEAM, COMPASSION AND HUMILITY ARE ALSO IMPORTANT AS A LEADER IN MY OPINION. I LIKE TO BUILD A BALANCED CULTURE, WITH THE PEOPLES PERSONALITIES IMPORTANT INPUTS INTO THAT. DENIS HAS A DEGREE IN ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING (2H) FROM CORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, A MASTERS IN MICROELECTRONIC CHIP DESIGN (1H) FROM UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK AND A MASTERS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE (1H) FROM DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY. PRIOR TO JOHNSON CONTROLS, DENIS HELD A POSITION OF PRINCIPAL DATA ARCHITECT AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER WITH EMC FROM 2010 TO 2015, SPENDING 2011 IN SILICON VALLEY. HE LED A TEAM FOCUSED AT REDUCING AND CONSUMING NINE TEST AUTOMATION PLATFORMS FROM EXTERNAL MANUFACTURERS TO ONE EMC CLOUD HOSTED PLATFORM. HE ALSO WORKED ON A NUMBER OF WORKFLOW AUTOMATION SOFTWARE REPLACING TEDIOUS MANUAL EXTRACT, SEARCH AND REPORT COMPILATION THAT RESULTED IN EFFICIENCY GAIN (WRITTEN IN PYTHON). I ALSO BUILT PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS APPLICATION IN MANUFACTURING AND DATA SCIENCE MODELS FOR THE CUSTOMER VERTICAL WITH THE CTO OFFICE. DENIS BROUGHT MICROSERVICES BASED DESIGN ALONG WITH DISTRIBUTED STORAGE AND PROCESSING TO THE GROUP, CHANGING THE DEVELOPMENT CULTURE IN THE PROCESS. DENIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF EMC’S GLOBAL INNOVATION COUNCIL AND AS AN AMBASSADOR WITH THEIR OFFICE OF THE CTO, LEADING THEIR CUSTOMER INSIGHT SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT. DENIS WON TWO GLOBAL INNOVATION AWARDS IN HIS TIME WITH EMC, IN THE AREAS OF SUSTAINABILITY AND E-SERVICES, AND HAS A PATENT IN INTELLIGENT POWER MANAGEMENT ON STORAGE ARCHITECTURE. HE ALSO WORKED PREVIOUSLY FOR ALPS AUTOMOTIVE DIVISION FROM 2005-2010, IN A VARIETY OF ROLES, INCLUDING AS THE LEAD COMPUTER VISION ENGINEER, AND THE LEAD TECHNOLOGIST ON EUROPEAN RESEARCH PROJECTS IN THE AREAS OF IN-VEHICLE DISTRACTION MONITORING AND SMART HOME DEVICES. DENIS ALSO SPENT TIME CONSULTING IN THE START-UP WORLD, SUCH AS A HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS CONSULTANT WITH ACE HEALTH, LEADING THE DEVELOPMENT FOR AN APPLICATION WHICH HELPS HEALTHCARE SERVICE PROVIDERS ACHIEVE BETTER PATIENT OUTCOMES AND CUT COSTS THROUGH A REGULATOR-APPROVED PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS PLATFORM IN THE DUTCH AND US MARKETS. HE ALSO HAD HELPED NUMEROUS STARTUPS ON BUILDING THEIR TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP TO ALIGN WITH DEFINED TARGET MARKETS AND CUSTOMER BASES.

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