The Internet of Things (IoT) has had its fair share of media coverage in recent months. And, even though the technology will continue to mature over the coming years, IoT culture has certainly made its presence felt on our digital culture. From driverless cars, to smart fridges, to wearables, the number of internet-connected devices per person is growing at an alarming rate – and with this comes the increased need for smarter capacity and bandwidth management, tighter monitoring and reporting, and more rigorous security policies. For enterprise network environments, WAN Optimisation is one of the most significant areas affected by the rise of the Internet of Things. In this blog, we’ll look at the impact of IoT on enterprise IT, how to manage an influx of devices without crippling your network environment.
Capacity management and baselining is more important and more iterative.
The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution was a wake up call for many enterprise network environments in terms of capacity management and baselining. Even though some organisations are still resistant to the idea of BYOD culture, the tides have certainly turned when it comes to the number of organisations taking a progressive stance towards devices in the workplace. This means that capacity demands can vary greatly from day to day depending on the number of employees introducing devices into the environment, and the continual introduction of smart devices means this concern will only become more serious with time. For WAN Optimisation efforts to be successful in an IoT context, baselining and capacity management need to become a far more dynamic process, and it will be vital to revisit your baselines frequently to ensure they remain accurate. Smart watches or internet-connected fridges might not seem like the biggest threat to your environment, but their impacts can add up quickly to place a significant amount of strain on your hardware.
WAN Security is an even greater concern in an IoT context.
Another consequence of IoT that gets a lot of press is its impact on network security. On a practical level, the addition of so many devices to the environment presents a challenge in simply being able to monitor the number of access points and potential security threats. Having responsive and powerful Network Monitoring Tools in place makes it easier to identify threats that would otherwise slip between the cracks and hinder your WAN Optimisation strategy. IoT presents an added security risk by virtue of the fact that many IoT devices operate without human input – meaning they could be especially vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals. Network Managers need to be aware of which entry points constitute a greater threat to network security and manage them accordingly. This is where it’s particularly useful to have a Network Monitoring Solution that provides you with a visual representation of your WAN Optimisation metrics and gives you a clear idea of the at-risk areas of your environment.
If you’d like to know more about tackling WAN Optimisation in the context of the Internet of Things, the BYOD revolution, and global internet connectivity, download our free WAN Optimisation eBook for all you need to know about both proprietary and open source network monitoring, management, and optimisation.