SDN And The Internet Of Things

By now, it’s very likely you’ve heard about the Internet of Things and how it’s changing how we live today. Bottom line, the IoT gives our appliances, vehicles, wearable tech, pets, and whatever else, built-in sensors and automated Internet access, in order to relay information without human intervention.

But have you ever stopped to think that with all of those things (your house’s thermostat, your fridge, your pet’s collar, your FitBit) using wireless connectivity and sending data back and forth, just how complicated the whole arrangement can become? How can such a large number of devices manage to work together so easily and efficiently?

Internet of things (IoT)
The Internet of Things will drive your life, and SDN will drive the Internet of Things

Fortunately, there’s another acronym out there that helps facilitate things. It’s called SDN, and it makes IoT easier to implement. So sit back, grab a BLT, do it PDQ, and let’s see what the BFD is all about.

SDN Stands For …

Sofware-Defined Networking, and it can accomplish for IoT what standard hardware can’t. According to the article “The Crucial Role of Software-Defined Networking in the Internet of Things”, SDN “… virtualizes the components and services within a network, lowering latency and reducing the need for hardware.” It’s a method of network control, where it’s decoupled from forwarding functions, creating an abstract, virtualized environment. Network managers can use automated SDN programs to quickly manage, configure, secure, and optimize network resources.

In plain English (and not a single acronym in sight!), Software-Defined Networking lets you remove control of network services from your hardware and instead control them via a virtual environment.

How SDN Impacts The IoT

SDN allows devices on the Internet of Things to share network resources in an efficient and reliable manner, empowering enterprises and network operators to allocate resources with a greater degree of flexibility, accommodating IoT’s characteristic low data volumes in high connection numbers.

With better network sharing in place, the number of IoT-enabled devices will increase, making the entire concept more attractive to more vendors as IoT becomes the norm. It’s no secret that improvements to new technology result in the latter being increasingly adopted by the population at large. Resource allocation is a big issue when it comes to adopting the Internet of Things on a wider basis, but SDN can remedy that.

SDN also enhances network security, since it can easily authenticate devices and users as well as follow whatever rules have been set. Data security is a hot-button topic today, and the average consumer has become more concerned about privacy issues. Considering the sheer amount of personal data that IoT-enabled devices gather, the concern is a legitimate one. But with SDN-regulated security, those fears can be put to rest, thereby enabling businesses to employ data gathered via the IoT to come up with better marketing and consumer strategies.

It Still Has A Way To Go

Software-Defined Networking is still in its infancy, and will take a few years before full deployment is a reality. But inroads are starting to be made, and before long, a big roadblock to widespread IoT adaption will be removed.

The next few years will be very interesting, that’s for sure …

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Born and raised in the Boston area, I was rocketed to New Hampshire, where under the Granite State's yellow sun and lack of income tax, I have gained the powers of super-sarcasm, brilliant creativity, and slightly disturbing sense of humor.

One Response to “SDN And The Internet Of Things”

  1. Angel Healy

    Mar 04. 2016

    “But with SDN-regulated security, those fears can be put to rest, thereby enabling businesses to employ data gathered via the IoT to come up with better marketing and consumer strategies.” — I am definitely one of those consumers that are a bit skeptical about security, John. And, I should say this feature of SDN eases off the worries. I will definitely expect more from SDN in the years to come.

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