Preparing for the New Normal: IoT (Internet of Things)

Belden Preparing for the New Normal IoT

November 2, 2016

Billions of previously standalone devices are set to connect to our networks in the next five years. And we’re not just talking about smartphones. These Internet-connected devices include everything from vending machines and lighting fixtures to digital signage screens, surveillance cameras and wireless access points (WAPs).

Each with its own IP address, these devices remotely transfer data to and from the network – and to and from each other. Networks can carry this data into applications and platforms that help us collect and examine it to identify trends, pinpoint potential problems and inform our decisions. We will have more information at our fingertips than ever before. This is the Internet of Things (IoT), and it will change the way buildings, homes and entire industries function. Schools, industrial sites, hospitals, hotels, multifamily facilities, government organizations and businesses will connect to the physical world around them in a new way.

What IoT Means for Networks

IoT is causing a new network to rise – and more “things” will be connected to it than ever before:

  • The number of devices connecting to networks now outnumbers the number of people who connect
  • The number of mobile connections is outpacing the number of fixed connections
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) connections now exceed AC powered connections

Thinking “mobile first,” wireless LANs will be a critical piece of the IoT puzzle as more devices and systems connect. IoT devices need access to the network wherever they’re located inside or near the building; users need access to the network at all times – from any location – to monitor, manage and control these systems and their data. This creates a need for new network hardware (like switches and wireless access points) and new cabling. Why? Because the infrastructure must be able to connect and support these growing numbers of wireless access points, VoIP devices, IP cameras and access control systems – and that’s just the start.

The usage characteristics of IoT devices are different than those of the PCs that used to dominate our networks. These newly connected devices are placing escalating pressure on network bandwidth and capacity. Downtime will no longer be an option; if networks go down, IoT devices will won’t be able to connect. An infrastructure that can cope with these reliability and performance demands is the only way IoT can deliver on its promises.

What IoT Means for Data Centers

IoT won’t just impact networks; it will also impact data centers. Imagine the data center implications of 1,500 devices each creating data on a 10-second basis within one facility. How would that impact the performance of other applications using that same network? Now consider those 1,500 devices growing to 15,000 devices instead – you can see how quickly IoT may bog down data centers that aren’t prepared.

Important decisions must be made about whether to build or maintain an enterprise data center, lease colocation space or take the data center to the cloud as storage demands, security needs, data-processing speeds and data volume all increase. Across the board, data centers are moving to the cloud due to virtually unlimited scalability and cost savings (where you pay only for what you use). This off-premise form of computing stores data on the Internet, outsourced to a third-party provider that manages the updates and maintenance.

Getting Ready for IoT

More devices will be connecting to networks every day. Are you prepared?

To help contractors complete more work faster, without compromising performance, Belden created REVConnect. This complete connectivity solution for Category 5e, 6 and 6A UTP and STP cables reduces termination time by 30% to 60%, allowing contractors to rapidly deploy IoT infrastructure with minimal disruption. REVConnect allows high-performing, field-terminable jacks and plugs to be terminated quickly and easily, connecting devices like Wave 2 wireless access points, pan-tilt-zoom cameras and LED lighting controls to the network.

[PDF] Belden REVConnect Guide

If you have questions about preparing for IoT projects, or trying Belden’s new REVConnect system, contact your Graybar representative, call 1-800-GRAYBAR, or fill out the form below:

IoT Product Information Request Form