Eagle-Lanner tech blog

 

The promising future of 5G has driven countries in the world into a technological competition, as major CSP (communication service providers) conglomerates worldwide are competing to get ahead in the 5G deployments. Thanks to the global sports events in recent years, for instance, the World Cup 2018, the public had the opportunity to experience and witness the 5G demonstrations and it appears that the success of such technology lies in the edge, rather than the cloud.

SD-WAN has continued its momentum in the technological segment due to its shortened deployment time and cost-saving advantages. In fact, SD-WAN helps IT management simplify their existing hybrid WAN infrastructure by abstracting a software layer over the networking hardware for management and control.

Since 2016, Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) has been one of the fastest-growing technologies, from a US$ 2 billion market to US$ 5 billion in 2019 according to research by Gartner. It is anticipated that majority of data centers worldwide will adopt HCI by 2020. With HCI hypervisor, IT management can integrate and virtualize networking, computing and storage into one single infrastructure to simplify today’s data center orchestration and improve flexibility. Under HCI infrastructure, a white-box server is “converged” with multiple virtual machines which share the same hardware resources, like CPU, DRAM and SSD, to execute networking, computing and storage. In this case, orchestration and storage are software-defined and virtualized on a open hardware platform.

In recent years, the adoption of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 has been considered as the key to competitiveness and success in business. According to official reports released by Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion devices around the world connected to the Internet by 2020, which means, the sensors, PLCs (programmable logic controllers), robotic arms, and assembly line machines in factories will be connected to the cloud and interconnected. IIoT is indeed an inevitable trend for modern industries to improve efficiency, productivity and reduce costs, and is often observed in logistics, manufacturing, utility services and transportation sectors.

Despite the heated discussion and overhyped marketing about 5G in the recent MWC (Mobile World Congress) event in Barcelona, such technology will still take another year or longer to be officially available, said 2020, and that means, all those advertisements from participating tech companies about their ideal services and applications, like all the hypes of IoT, IoV (Internet of Vehicles), and A.I.-based VR/AR, may not come true until 5G is coined and concrete. Like all the technological trends in the past, there have always been transitions from a pre-dominant technology to the next phenomenon, and this time, it is the edge to fit into the 4G to 5G.

From Netflix to YouTube to personal video posting, video is the major driver of bandwidth demand and is shaping the future of network infrastructure. And this massive demand for video is putting pressure on communications service providers to repeatedly upgrade their network infrastructure. Unfortunately, the cost and complexity of upgrading legacy network equipment is prohibitive.

Since the emergence of the Internet, this interconnect technology has been adopted by various industries to improve productivity and competitive edge. In fact, many critical infrastructure owners have adopted the concept of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) in their ICS and SCADA systems. However, despite the benefits, the convenience brought by the Internet has also induced vulnerability of today’s ICS and SCADA infrastructures, as observed from recent attacks on nuclear plants, oil refinery, and water plants. Major incidents include Stuxnet in 2010 and BlackEnergy in 2015, causing severe blackouts.