Four reasons a cloud native IoT Network-as-a-Service will grow enterprise business
When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), big numbers continue to be circulated. In January 2021, Analysys Mason forecast 5.8 billion IoT connections worldwide by 2029. However accurate that figure may be, there is no doubt the IoT will generate mammoth amounts of data, annually running into the hundreds of zettabytes.
Storing and managing this huge flow of data without operating costs spiraling out of control will be a substantial challenge. This is where cloud native technologies come to the rescue.
First, what is cloud native? In a nutshell, cloud native encompasses applications composed of dozens of microservices assembled in containers and deployed in the cloud end-to-end. The management tools for these containers have automation built in to simplify and accelerate service creation, lifecycle management, release upgrade and capacity expansion.
The cloud era came into being many years ago. While the technology has evolved smoothly, the accompanying culture jump was more difficult to take as the adoption of DevOps swept aside the traditional operating model. Cloud native architectures work best in hosted environments, achieving faster time to market because operators can use a third party’s cloud native resources. That means the roles and responsibilities of multiple vendors need to be established carefully, not always a comfortable management change.
A ready-made cloud native fabric
With cloud native, small components are added to a container to create a highly customized service. Think of it as like ordering a personalized pizza. You pick and choose from a wide variety of toppings that can be delivered by different suppliers – the tomatoes come from one farm, the cheese from another and the pineapple … well, perhaps that’s not to everyone’s taste. But you get the idea, this is not like a traditional menu with a limited preset list of options.
Let me translate this into business benefits.
- The cloud native core enables shorter time to market with new features. In the new agile mode of operations pioneered by the webscale companies, releases happen in a matter of seconds and processes can be fully automated, replacing costly and slow manual work. This means a new customer, say a port authority, can be connected in weeks, not months.
- When demand changes, the network automatically scales in or out, both technically and economically to serve the enterprise requirements. This means, for example, e-cars can be connected across the whole of Europe when a new model becomes popular with sales taking off rapidly.
- Cloud native cores are also eco-friendly as they allocate processing power only when required, saving on hardware, disk space and energy.
- Operators can gain a competitive edge by launching new services quickly and cost-effectively.
Cloud native is essential to 5G, not just because of standardization, but effective end-to-end slicing forces networks to be built in the cloud to enable dynamic configuration based on use case needs. Whether supporting a car infotainment system with high bandwidth, or enabling automated driving where low latency is crucial, spinning up a network slice can be easy and fast.
Mind the IoT gap
Cloud native is also the only realistic way to handle the load created by billions of devices. Cloud native architecture and services allow operators to overcome the limitations of traditional connectivity models, which are inflexible and expensive for IoT, prolonging time-to-market and time-to-revenue.
Yet to do this, cloud native must be end-to-end. There can be no gaps. Only with an end-to-end cloud native core network can an operator take full advantage of the agility, scalability, resiliency and economies of the cloud. And the quickest way an operator can apply all these capabilities to support the IoT needs of its enterprise customers is through a hosted/third party enviroment.
Nokia WING, which stands for Worldwide IoT Network Grid, is a managed service based on a cloud native core that supports both local-only and large-scale deployments with the same architecture. Operators and enterprises can avoid the substantial time and cost of building their own solution by using WING’s cloud native core infrastructure as a Service for IoT, delivered in a consumption-based commercial model. Offering economies of scale and an underlying cloud native fabric, WING is ready to go.
Now, where’s that pizza I ordered....