By 2020, the number of ‘things’ connected over the internet is expected to cross 31 billion worldwide. In India, the number amounts to 2 billion devices from the current base of 60 million. How SD-WAN boost IoT in India from the network vantage point?
Editor’s note: The focus of this blog is on how SD-WAN is imperative in establishing IoT infrastructure both with respect to consumer as well as Industrial IoT.
Enterprises today are optimizing WAN at the edge. Whether IoT or IIoT, to make every edge intelligent, enterprises must ensure that the network delivers seamless connectivity, bandwidth, virtualization and security services, no matter how remote the location/edge is.
The ability of SD-WAN to improve application performance, simplify WAN management, transport any sort of traffic, cloud connectivity, and reduce WAN cost have already allowed enterprises to prepare their network for Industry 4.0. Features like intent based networking, enhanced edge/branch security, and centralized management of networks makes SD-WAN imperative in IoT for enterprises.
Accelerating Application Performance at the edge
Shifting applications at the edge demands extra attention for connectivity to ensure a better user experience. Hence enterprise Network at the edges should be able to deliver required bandwidth, connectivity, low-latency, and network services continuously. A primary benefit of SD-WAN is that it accelerated application performance.
Particularly in the case of IoT, consider an edge at a remote location. Not only the sensors collecting data that are responsible for the load on the network, but it is also the traffic from cloud and mobile networks. By enabling the use of multiple WAN links, simplifying WAN architecture, reducing reliance on MPLS, and improving SaaS performance by automatically steering traffic based on application policy instead of backhauling all traffic to the data center. Using policy based routing to SD-WAN in IoT helps enterprises automatically prioritize traffic based on how critical the data transmission is.
Moreover, SD-WAN is designed to run over any sort of network connectivity- Broadband, Cellular, or any sort of IoT network like LPWAN). SD-WAN in IoT infrastructure helps enterprises enable edge-networking solutions that abstract management complexity, provide application-centric automation, speed provisioning, and ensure application availability and security.
Establishing a secured Perimeter in IoT
Given that IoT endpoints can be isolated from enterprise endpoints, IoT demands robust security measures. Everytime a device is added to the IoT network, enterprises need to ensure its safety from all sorts of attacks. Here’s where SD-WAN in IoT allows enterprises to create overlay networks using micro-segmentation. With SD-WAN, devices are first checked for safety. In case of a breach or an attack, SD-WAN can segment the traffic, protecting the rest IoT and Enterprise network. Due diverse nature of IoT devices (Things), this function of SD-WAN in IoT helps prevent any sort of vulnerability with devastating network impacts.
Another emerging way to secure IoT is to leverage SDP with SD-WAN. Software-Defined Perimeter (Read our earlier primer on SDP) is solving key challenges for enterprises when it comes to securing their access to the cloud. According to Shyamal Kumar, CEO at Lavelle Networks, “One of the key problems to solve is to get the user traffic to the SDP cloud network, and here is where the 360 degree architecture of SD-WAN & SDP, is a killer combination. The natural strength of an SD-WAN solution is policy based on-the-fly private network overlays being created from any source to any destination, this allows an enterprise to drop in extremely simple policies to redirect the right traffic to the right SDP gateway. It’s an architecture where you can deploy best of breed networking at your edge using next generation SD-WAN, and you can deploy best of breed security at your cloud using SDP”
As Hybrid Cloud continues to flourish, SDP+SD-WAN in IoT will become a watertight and powerful approach to solve challenges in keeping IoT networks secure.
Connecting “Things” with SD-WAN
IoT in India is disrupting every sector. The Government of India has already planned to investment worth $1 billion in 100 smart cities over the next five years. This is expected to act as a catalyst for IoT adoption across industries and states. With edge/branch networking becoming a norm in IT infrastructure, enterprises can leverage SD-WAN to provide highly reliable, secured and quality connectivity across remote locations. Easy deployment, centralization of network management and cost effectiveness makes SD-WAN a crucial element in the IoT infrastructure. The foundation of India’s IoT infrastructure relies on today’s innovative network solutions like Intent based networking, Software Define Wide Area Networks, Network Functions Virtualization and Software Defined Perimeter.