For Industrial IoT, Will the Future of Enterprise 5G Networks be Federated?

16

November 2021

By: Juhi Fadia

As more industrial companies implement more connected solutions, the concept of federated networks is taking off as an opportunity for entrepreneurial exploration and a strong alternative to legacy “telecom” providers who are fighting to maintain their “walled gardens.”

According to VMWare, a federated network “is a network model in which a number of separate networks or locations share resources (such as network services and gateways) via a central management framework that enforces consistent configuration and policies. Management, control, and data planes are distributed over multiple networks or locations and managed as a single entity.”

Network federation takes interconnection and interworking to a new level, one that could not be achieved without the introduction of software-defined, programmable networking that supports edge innovation because the connectivity is abstracted from traditional networking physical layers.

VMWare also says, “the terms federated network and distributed network have some overlap and are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between them. A distributed network is simply any network that encompasses multiple geographical locations, whereas a federated network is one that allows multiple networks (which may be geographically distributed) to work together by employing technologies such as a network federation. A true federated network uses a central management framework to enforce consistent policies and create a uniform environment so that the member networks can share services.”

The benefits of creating private networks (often called P-LTE) which connect sensor-based systems in many ways is a very attractive option compared to the traditional way of working. IoT solution providers and their enterprise customers no longer must worry about setting up relationships with multiple service providers, which is complex and expensive and can easily bundle wireless connectivity into their architectures.

JpU, based in Israel and implementing solutions in the US and other geographic markets, is rapidly building its footprint with an offering they say is easier and less expensive to provision, monitor, manage, maintain, and scale.

This week, at the Enterprise 5G event in Santa Clara, Roy Timor-Rousso, Chief Revenue Officer at JpU, will be demonstrating wireless connectivity solutions that are easily understood and managed by IT and OT teams in universities, in smart cities, in utility companies, and on smart farms.

Timor-Rousso is no stranger to federated networking as he has built and sold several businesses which applied the concept to “human communications,” including serving as the CEO of fring, a competitor to WhatsApp, which was acquired by a multi-billion company based on the SaaS innovations that came out of fring’s labs.

He is now in the world of IoT/IIoT and applying similar principles.

“We’re in a world of multi-cloud, multi-edge computing, areas which are organically drawn to federated and unified cloud resources, and it only makes sense to orchestrate networking in a similar fashion,” Timor-Rousso said. “Look at the success of blending private and public clouds, including multiple clouds, pulling them into a unified environment which allows computing to operate consistently. As more and more compute continues to happen at the edge, for example in massive manufacturing plants, the complexity will become impossible without a practical framework.”

Timor-Rousso explained that the explosion of devices and applications that are driving value also creates operational and security risks. “Federated wireless networking solves this problem, making the provisioning and building of 4G/5G networks easier to do while making network operations and management more unified for the enterprise or their managed service and managed security providers.”

JpU is actively building federated networks for certain vertical sectors in the US, including the energy industry.

“There is tremendous upside in instrumenting the energy grid,” Timor-Rousso explained, “but also a tremendous risk, both economic and operational, given the surge of cyberattacks and threat of more attacks on critical infrastructure. Consider how big energy grids are, how many locations the equipment sits in, the number of sensors and gateways associated with monitoring and managing based on data generated by those sensors and consolidated by those gateways.”

Timor-Rousso described the federation of the future as “having a single connectivity provider who offers secure transmission as a service – opex rather than capex. Our customers find this compelling compared to complex legacy approaches. With a common SIM card, for example, every location can be connected and managed with a single view, and every endpoint equipped for Over-the-Air updates and more.”

The concept of federation does not stop at a single enterprise deployment, Timor-Rousso said. “All enterprises are connected through our JpU hyper core into a federated network, which supports ecosystems in completely new and powerful ways. For ‘mobile’ IoT, every enterprise device and every enterprise asset on the move can roam via any other network while being managed and controlled, without enterprises having to contract with and deal with multiple providers.”

The JpU hyper core enables and applies business rules, and with 5G can deliver ultra-low-latency, high-quality experiences, reliability, and, according to Timor-Rousso, cost savings between 40 – 60% compared to old school approaches.

“Given the consolidation and unification aspects, tackling security is more straightforward; we are designing bundles into solutions which supports the ‘full stack’ security industrial solutions require in order to operate without risking intentional or unintentional attacks and failures,” Timor-Rousso said. “This is a perfect solution for the crossover of the machine and human communication, as our federated solutions allow companies to manage and control employees and devices on any public or private network.”

Timor-Rousso will be sharing more about how federated networks contribute to better industrial, agricultural, energy, and other vertical IoT implementations as a speaker at the Enterprise 5G conference, November 16-18. You can learn more about the conference here.

Originally published on The Frontier Hub

 

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