Paessler: Ten Steps to Prepare Your Network for IoT
By George Wilson, Director of Operations APAC
The era of IoT is nowhere near its end. In fact, it’s predicted there will be over 38 million connected devices by 2025, and 50 billion by 2030. Despite the proliferation of IoT, businesses still face the same challenge – that is, implementing, maintaining and securing connected devices.
Organisations across Malaysia are still struggling with the basics, despite the fact that there are different IoT maturity in each entity.
Paessler believes that monitoring systems can play a role in empowering network managers to anticipate, diagnose and solve issues, often before problems occur.
Here are 10 steps for businesses to help them to anticipate and prepare for the monitoring their IoT environment in the future.
1. Envision what the Internet of Things ‘IoT’ will mean for your business – The IoT will change some businesses more than others. A professional services firm might be concerned about integrating a smart thermostat, whereas a manufacturer will face the challenges of unifying a number of disparate systems, machinery and devices. Network administrators will be at the forefront of the integration process and play a large role in making connected devices functional and useful.
2. Prepare to integrate – While some connected devices will be productised and designed to fit neatly into networks, others will be homegrown and rely heavily on customisation. With all these different device types, integration becomes a challenge. It is critical that all connected devices be brought under one roof so they can be accurately monitored.
3. Understand the protocols that connect us – There are three main protocols that are used to connect the Internet of Things: Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), REST APIs, and XML. By gaining a stronger understanding of how devices interact, you’ll be able to design more sophisticated network architectures, which make monitoring that much easier.
4. Remember that not all “things” are new – Not every connected device is the latest and greatest hardware from industry-leading companies. Many devices are outdated, especially in industrial settings, or are connected by small computers like Raspberry Pi. You need to understand the many different hardware requirements and identify how to connect necessary devices, even if they’re from the last century.
5. Be flexible – The Internet of Things is likely going to be the biggest challenge network administrators have faced since cloud services and BYOD. There will certainly be pressure from leadership to tackle the “next big thing” in IT. You will have to be both patient and flexible to handle the complex challenges of monitoring a network of connected devices and deal with the pressure to “get it done.”
6. Plan proactively – When it comes to network monitoring, planning is your friend. The advent of BYOD had major effects on networks and bandwidth, and so will the Internet of Things. To maintain uptime and availability, be sure to plan for bandwidth usage from connected devices.
7. Recognise that anything with an IP address can be hacked – Today’s hackers are both fearless and creative, a dangerous combination for IT departments. Anything with an IP address can be hacked, and the Internet of Things widens the threat vector. Before you connect the refrigerator to central IT, be sure to have a security plan in place.
8. Customise, customise, customise – One of the most exciting aspects of the Internet of Things is that there is seemingly no limit to what can be connected. In terms of monitoring, that creates challenges that can be solved by creating new sensors and custom reports. This is especially exciting in industrial settings, where data extracted from devices can be used to make business processes smarter and more efficient. You can take advantage of this opportunity to show off your creative side and build custom solutions for these monitoring problems.
9. Keep every “thing” in order – Modern IT systems are often chaotic. It has become incredibly easy to spin up a virtual machine, download and run cloud software, or now, connect a device. Mapping and tracking every “thing” that is added to the network as it happens will save you plenty of headaches in the long run.
10. Think two steps ahead – Connected device projects likely start small in most businesses, and many will not be of great consequence. But, eventually, the connected world will deliver new data and information about how businesses operate that will become drivers of key decisions. You will be responsible for collecting and analysing that data and turning it into insights. Having a plan in place for what’s next is crucial, even if there’s less happening at the present.
Paessler in Malaysia
In July 2019, Paessler announced the opening of its key development hub in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. This hub plays the role of a centre of innovation as a core component of the company’s wider Asia Pacific (APAC) expansion plan to double the size of its team by 2020.
Malaysia is a key international market for Paessler and is home to a highly skilled workforce that the company hopes to tap into the engineering talent for its development hub to fuel regional growth.
The Passeler hub in KL will serve over 5,500 existing customers (active license holders) and over 550 active partners in the region (including South East Asia, North West Asia and Australia and New Zealand); providing sales and technical support for the PRTG Network Monitor which monitors business-critical systems, devices and network infrastructures.