Remote management: What good is Big Data if you can’t get it? (Reader Forum)
Now that I spend a lot of my time thinking about how to help companies get their networks to do what their businesses want them to do, I realize what sorts of challenges IT organizations have overcome to get any truly remote management operational. Now that I know more, I’m surprised it works at all using legacy networking technologies.
Being rather oblivious to the IT challenge, it seemed reasonable in my last job that a team in the north of England managed sites as far away as South Africa. Cost of connectivity was dropping, sensors were ubiquitous and cheap, and bandwidth was ever-increasing. Any forward-thinking business would be looking to reduce personnel at remote sites and use the power of technology to run the day-to-day operations.
The cost of sensors has dropped precipitously.
At the same time bandwidth has dramatically increased.
But what if your remote asset is remote and your only connection is via satellite, meaning you’re in early 2000’s era bandwidth access? Is that skinny pipe the death knell for your game-changing remote service?
Expensive, high latency and bandwidth limited, satellite links present a formidable challenge for a company gathering massive amounts of data from the sensors they’ve deployed at the edge. Poor connectivity can also be the stumbling block in moving from selling a capital asset to selling an outcome (like pay per usage)—if you can’t get the data, you can’t launch the service.
Today’s networking technologies only exacerbate the problem. Most solutions add data overhead to add security which further reduces the already limited bandwidth.
At the extreme, the 30-50% additional overhead of traditional solutions can hamstring your performance and usability. The alternative of moving critical data without secure connectivity is even worse, so many businesses give up on or defer plans assuming there are no other solutions.
What’s required is a new kind of networking technology that’s both secure and optimized for skinny pipes. Using a software router that is natively session-aware solves for both of these issues, is at least 30% more bandwidth efficient and in some applications provides up to 5x the performance of traditional routing models.
By freeing up additional bandwidth and adding capabilities like multi-path routing, companies can now deploy these services that seemed out of reach and push their digital frontiers all the way to the far, remote edges of their enterprise. And who knows, maybe the next step is Mars?