Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Open Source Cloud, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

IoT Network Visibility | @ThingsExpo @SolarWinds #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API

Accelerating complexity is just one challenge in how hybrid IT is affecting IT departments

Why Network Visibility Beyond the Firewall Is Critical in the IoT Era

In the hybrid IT era, complexity is the name of the game. In fact, according to the recent SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017, IT professionals report the number one challenge of hybrid IT is increased infrastructure complexity. Accelerating complexity is just one challenge in how hybrid IT is affecting IT departments. Internet of things (IoT) implementations are a great example of one more unexpected, emerging technology IT teams must address.

In the report, IT professionals reported the second greatest challenge of hybrid IT is lack of control and visibility into the performance of cloud-based applications and infrastructure. Most IoT devices connect to cloud back ends or edge/fog-distributed endpoints, rather than traditional data centers. Distributed workloads by their nature put admins in a bind, and the multiplicative nature of IoT devices makes the visibility challenge even more difficult. But this isn't all doom and gloom. The path to managing these complexities is found by exploring the ways IoT use cases play out in different implementations, and identifying solutions for IT professionals to better manage the hybrid IT and IoT convergence.

IoT in Practice
To best understand how to manage complexity and gain visibility beyond the firewall in the IoT era, consider common IoT scenarios in hybrid IT organizations.

Cloud-Based IoT
In this scenario, the back end of the IoT infrastructure is in the public cloud. Potentially millions of distributed devices and multiple clustered workload systems are all reporting data back to the cloud, making cloud monitoring extremely critical. IT professionals managing these cloud-based IoT implementations must be able to view the entire network path to ensure end-user performance, or at least synthetic application performance (if the end user is an IoT bot). This can be difficult because the traffic is completely outside of the firewall. Instrumenting the end-user experience is key to troubleshooting issues, and monitoring cloud infrastructure and cloud components of the application at the same time is necessary.

On-Premises IoT
A great example of this scenario would be industrial IoT, where there are multiple IoT devices but production data is captured in the organization's data center. In this case, the IoT devices create massive amounts of data on-premises, effectively creating the complexity of analyzing a multi-tiered Big Data application. Massive processing and storage is required - perhaps Hadoop® and MapReduce are at play - as well as streaming analytics and transformation. And then, of course, there are security considerations, reporting or regulatory requirements that stem from allowing IoT devices to connect with the data delivery network. For example, are there considerations for new protocols like MQ Telemetry Transport Protocol (MQTT) access instead of HTTP and managing Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic through the firewall?

All of this can place a significant inbound traffic burden on the on-premises data center, a relative tidal wave from the outside world into the on-premises system via firewalls. An added wrinkle is open source. Many IoT solutions and enabling technologies are based on open source, publicly available projects. Too often, developers in a hurry to get to market are quick to download a package off of GitHub without vetting for security. IT professionals and security managers must ensure control and some method of codebase oversight over these new application delivery stack elements to secure the code accessing our networks.

Edge-Based IoT
This is also known as fog-based IoT - computing at the edge. Here, distributed data collection and processing facilities distill data in the field rather than sending in built-to-cloud or on-premises repositories. For example, a municipal government may have sensors watching traffic patterns to optimize traffic light signaling strategies. In their model, processing IoT data in the field is more cost effective, even if it requires distributed compute resources located offsite. However, those distributed elements must still be managed, their network traffic assured, and performance monitored just as if they were safely back home in a rack, but with the challenge of remote access and latency.

Best Practices for Managing IoT Complexity and Visibility
Regardless of whether an IoT implementation is cloud-based, on-premises, or on the edge, there are common practices that should be followed in order to conquer complexity and visibility issues:

  1. The most powerful tool for hybrid IT gives a single view. Troubleshooting across the boundaries of hybrid IT can have massive positive effects on productivity. At the end of the day, successful management of IoT requires cross-environment visibility.
  2. Education and skill-building should be ongoing. IT departments should work with the business to ensure some budget is allocated to education, personal development training, conference passes, and certifications for IT professionals. Investing in the IT team can pay some of the greatest dividends in terms of being able to manage complexity, especially considering that nearly half of today's IT professionals say IT professionals entering the workforce now do not possess the skills necessary to manage hybrid IT environments. Create the skills on teams now instead of waiting for them to come in the future.
  3. Geek out on data. IT professionals should think about how to unlock their inner data scientists. Rather than just pushing data around, it's important for today's IT professionals to bring operations data and hybrid IT data into the lab and experiment with it. Doing this will likely uncover new insights that can help identify performance issues associated with IoT.

Perhaps one day, there will just be cloud, but in no case is that tomorrow. Hybrid IT will only become more complex and difficult to manage at least for the next few years. A little motivational alarm is okay, as long as IT professionals don't get discouraged and continue close skills gaps. IT professionals who take necessary steps today to improve their environments - regardless of IoT scenario - may experience the empowerment that comes with full visibility across on-premises, to the cloud and beyond, wherever workloads may lie.

More Stories By Patrick Hubbard

Patrick Hubbard is a head geek and senior technical product marketing manager at SolarWinds, with 20 years of technical expertise and IT customer perspective. His networking management experience includes work with campus, data center, high availability and disaster recovery, and storage networks, and with VoIP, telepresence and VDI in both Fortune 500 companies and startups in the high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...