Service providers across the EMEA region were this week urged to bolster their infrastructures in anticipation of the Internet of Things (IoT) by F5 Networks' head of solution architects.
Speaking at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam, Bart Salaets said that service providers need to be prepared to deliver the customer-centric services required for the Internet of Things, which he claimed is creating "unprecedented" challenges.
"The IoT is creating unprecedented pressures, challenges and opportunities for EMEA's service providers and many of today's traditional architectures will simply buckle under the increasing load generated by all these connected devices," he said.
"Today, we need a networking infrastructure that not only transports the sheer volume of data created by these devices, but also optimises and secures both the devices themselves as well as the applications that are being consumed by these devices. In addition, the IoT is not only increasing the amount of data traffic, it is also creating a massive pressure on the signaling infrastructure that needs to be managed"
According to Cisco, 50 billion devices and objects could be connected to the Internet by 2020. By then, IDC predicts the market associated with this phenomenon will be worth $7.1 trillion.
When it comes to the applications themselves, often the drivers of the connected "things", there are additional factors to contend with such as dealing with identity and access, improving the end-user or subscriber experience, and the need for faster provisioning of services, Salaets said.
"A robust, scalable, secure and programmable infrastructure will be necessary to handle the massive growth in data traffic and signaling" he added.
Meanwhile, Salaets said that service providers will also have to deal with issues around cloud computing, which will only accelerate with the advent of the IoT. According to IDC, more than 90% of all IoT data will be hosted on service provider platforms by 2020. And by 2018, the worldwide software as a service (SaaS) enterprise applications market is forecast to increase to a total of $50.8 billion by 2018.
Salaets pointed towards network function virtualisation (NFV) as a possible answer for service providers tackling with these trends.
"NFV and cloud technology offers organisations a smarter way to manage IoT services, rather than the traditional model based on deploying physical platforms with static provisioning," he said.
"An IoT-ready infrastructure requires a significant shift in how the network infrastructure manages, monitors, and monetises exceptional numbers of devices and associated services."