Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Stackify Blog

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

@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
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.