IoT brings new challenges and opportunities to the data center

New security and connectivity solutions needed as IoT enters the data center.

By Donna Donnowitz
December 24, 2014

With greater attention being paid to opportunities for machine to machine interactivity, IT decision-makers are putting a premium on ways to integrate new technology into their data centers. Simultaneously, consumers have begun to recognize the same benefits through the emerging Internet of Things movement. It's no surprise, then, that the two technology movements would naturally collide. As the new technology inches toward the mainstream, IT staffs will have to figure out new ways to take advantage of machine to machine interactivity and overcome the barriers of integration.

Internet of Things adds new wrinkles to the data center
While the advantages of bringing Internet of Things capability to the data center are well touted, the combination of technologies will also bring about new challenges for IT teams. ZDNet noted that one of the most pertinent challenges faced by IoT adopting data centers pertain to security. Adding connections to the network also means creating new vulnerabilities - every unsecured device is a potential backdoor that could seriously harm your network. This reality stresses the importance of applications like end-to-end control software in a data center where IoT devices have been incorporated into the infrastructure.

Another pressing concern for consideration when adding IoT gear to the data center is storage capacity. While part of an IT staff's job is to manage data capacity, it's easy to overlook how the volumues of data collected by an IoT device could quickly overwhelm a center with tons of data and nowhere to store it. Being able to efficiently collect and analyze IoT data is critical to making the most of this technology as an analytic tool, so preparing for these ramped up capacity needs beforehand is critical.

Ethernet will play a role in IoT adoption
Electronic Design predicted that one factor that will impact the adoption of IoT in the data center is the popularity of Ethernet. The resource noted that connectivity with cloud-based services and mobile devices will become increasingly important to data center infrastructure, and that Ethernet is already one of the cheapest and scalable methods of linking these devices together. Furthermore, research by the International Data Corporation predicts that the U.S. market for Ethernet services will jump from $6.2 billion in 2013 to $10.1 billion in 2016.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.

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