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Is your network ready for the Internet of Things?

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Andre van Schalkwyk |  Group Practice Manager Consulting and Assessments | Networking

Andre van Schalkwyk | Group Practice Manager Consulting and Assessments | Networking

Today, the massive potential of the Internet of Things is dawning on us … particularly in business. The Internet of Things will see an increasing number and variety of business-enabling technologies interconnecting via networks, including the Internet. Non-human objects will be able to gather data from their environment, interact with one another and make intelligent decisions, all without human intervention.

This will have many business benefits: from generating useful big data that will enable better decision-making, to increasing visibility and control of systems and processes, which will massively reduce management time and cost. However, the challenge is that the rise in the number of interconnected devices will lead to a scarcity and, eventually, unavailability of IPv4 addresses. This will compel organisations to adopt the new standard, IPv6, the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP) which provides an identification and location system for devices on networks, and routes traffic across the Internet.

In addition, organisations with mostly IPv4-based networks, which haven’t architected the underlying environment with IPv6 in mind, will have limited visibility of, and control over their IPv6-enabled technologies. This exposes them to unnecessary risk, as they won’t be able to monitor and manage those devices, nor control the traffic flow, as well as in an IPv4-based environment.

Results from the Network Barometer Report 2015 show that only 21% of all network devices currently support IPv6. The largest proportion of devices (48%) can be easily switched to IPv6 through a simple software upgrade … but they still remain as is. This is concerning, because it indicates a lack of basic network maintenance with the impact of The Internet of Things in mind, which also means unexplored potential and, eventually, unrealised business benefits.

How does your network compare? Read the full Report and find out.