SD-WAN + LTE = More IoT manageability, reliability and flexibility

Manish Watwani of Telit

Many enterprises have IoT devices scattered across dozens, hundreds and thousands of sites—everything from stores to branch offices to remote oil wellheads. The more sites there are, the less likely it is that a single network technology or service provider can connect them all.

Juggling multiple technologies and multiple service providers makes it tough to ensure that each IoT device gets the right latency, bandwidth and security. All of these challenges aren’t unique to IoT, so it’s worth looking at how other types of applications are overcoming them, says Manish Watwani, vice president Global Product Marketing at Telit.

For other enterprise applications, increasingly the solution is software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN). This approach aggregates multiple links—such as MPLS, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular or the public Internet—to provide a site with faster connectivity than a single network could provide by itself. This approach also provides more reliability because that site’s connection doesn’t depend entirely on a single link or service provider.

SD-WAN also provides more manageability because like its conceptual cousin, software-defined networking (SDN), it decouples the control and data planes. For example, SD-WAN makes it easier for businesses to customise their organisation’s bandwidth and connectivity to deliver specific network services to individuals or a group of locations and users.

The IT department also can define and manage policies and network traffic from a central location, eliminating the need to configure each device manually. The more devices there are—and with IoT, that’s usually a lot—the more beneficial central manageability becomes.

“While many networking technologies are over-hyped as the next big thing, SD-WAN is delivering on the promise,” says Gartner, which estimates that there are over 6,000 enterprises using it. “SD-WAN has several very real and tangible benefits (cost, performance, availability to name a few) with clear ROI when compared to alternatives.

In fact, this is what is driving rapid adoption. We recommend you look at SD-WAN when refreshing WAN edge equipment, renegotiating a carrier contract, building out new branches, or aggressively moving apps to the cloud (among other reasons).”

Where LTE fits in

All of SD-WAN’s benefits apply to IoT applications, too, which is why it’s worth considering when those devices are spread across multiple locations. Another reason is security. To be inexpensive enough for wide deployment, IoT devices often have just enough memory and processing power for their application, leaving little or nothing to support security features such as anti-malware. That means security needs to be addressed primarily in the network. SD-WAN helps secure IoT by making it easier to partition those devices so they don’t become back doors for hackers.

Many IoT applications can use LTE, and for those it’s important to choose an enterprise-grade module. For example, if it’s a high-bandwidth application such as surveillance video, look for a Category 11 LTE module, which supports up to 600 Mbps downlinks and 75 Mbps uplinks.

If the LTE link needs to support not only a site’s IoT devices, but also other applications, such as employee broadband access, consider a Cat 18 module, which supports up to 1.2 Gbps on the downlink and up to 150 Mbps on the uplink.

The bottom line is that LTE is widely available, including in rural and other remote areas, and typically from multiple operators in each market. Most operators also are upgrading their LTE networks to support higher speeds. All of these factors make LTE a technology that enterprises should consider leveraging as they migrate to SD-WAN for IoT and other applications. But choosing the right LTE module is key for ensuring that it doesn’t become the weak link in the SD-WAN mix.

The author of this blog is Manish Watwani, vice president Global Product Marketing at Telit

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

DANA bolsters financial inclusion in Indonesia with HERE Technologies

Posted on: August 9, 2022

Jakarta, Indonesia. 04 August, 2022 – HERE Technologies, the location data and technology platform, announced that DANA, one of Indonesia’s digital wallet services, is utilising HERE location services to bolster inclusive financial services in the country.

Read more

Putting fleets in the fast lane: AT&T Fleet Complete launches FC Hub, a suite of next-gen fleet management tools

Posted on: August 9, 2022

Dallas, United States. 05 August, 2022 – Fleet Complete is introducing AT&T Fleet Complete FC insights solution suite, a big data IoT platform with web and mobile apps for fleets to monitor and manage all aspects of their mobile operations.

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox