Posted on Monday March 21, 2022
Ammad Ahmad | 3 min read
Importance of having a Scalable Communication Infrastructure for IoT Networks
Scalability is crucial in considering any IoT system, as it helps make devices more effective and reliable. With the enhancement in technology in this fast-advancing world, the devices that connect to the internet are increasing exponentially. By 2023, the number of IoT devices is expected to surpass 46 billion. With the constant bombardment of data acquisition points and traffic at the edge, industrial companies are in critical need of a scalable M2M communications architecture. Engineering a scalable solution from the start minimizes the need for expensive modifications in the future, thereby helping in securing long-term return on investment. Scalability is a mega phenomenon driven by specialized processes, including features inclusive of business, marketing, hardware, software, and network.
However, building such architecture does not come without challenges. There are some essential factors to consider when choosing the proper connectivity. The evolution of IoT has triggered the currently digitally marketed world in which everything is connected, leading to distinct technology methods.
6 considerations for designing scalable IoT communications Solutions
It refers to the amount of traffic a network can handle at a given time. Higher network capacity allows for seamless and reliable system operations as the number of end devices continuously increases. Self-interference caused by confined radio resources is a significant issue that dampens network capacity in wireless IoT networks.
Many low-power wireless technologies adopt asynchronous medium access control protocols such as ALOHA that cause self-interference. Efficient use of finite radio spectrum, also known as spectrum efficiency, is key to remedying self-interference and improving overall capacity. It can only be achieved by low bandwidth use of a signal and short radio, the time in which the packet travels from source to destination.
Intersystem interference is another threat to IoT communications networks’ effective threats and scalability. The 2.4 GHz band is the most used frequency in legacy industrial applications and systems and, therefore, a more congested one. Wireless technologies using this band are open to significant electromagnetic interference from various sources like WiFi Hubs. Using less crowded sub- GHz ISM bands, for example, the 902-928 MHz, significantly helps in interference problems. Nevertheless, these bands are gaining increasing popularity as well. System designers should equip IoT architecture with robust, interference resilient wireless technology to tackle near future exponential traffic in the shared spectrum. Frequency Hopping and Channel Coding are standard techniques adopted to improve system robustness.
Network Setup, Management, and Maintenance
The choice of network topology can decide what is required from a planning and administration effort. For example, mesh topology is widely adopted by short-range wireless technologies. Mesh networks require installing extra devices that act as routers, not to capture essential data, but to achieve desired coverage. As of which, redundancy is an intrinsic part of these networks, complicating management activities.
Security comes up in all IoT conversations, and unless the communication technology is equipped with versatility and security, data transfer will be an enormous challenge in ever-expanding IoT networks. Hence Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a globally validated message encryption to protect data confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity against eavesdropping and other malicious attempts, is used to make communication secure.
Scalability and Interoperability essentially go hand in hand. Standards are established for consistent and transparent technical models for third-party developers to easily integrate the communication protocol into various IoT devices and application platforms.
Manufacturers in search of IoT architecture should also consider the longevity of the communication technology. Longevity reflects stable operations of the IoT systems over the years without foreseeable disruption due to network shutdowns.
Expensive industrial assets and critical infrastructure are on the verge of phasing out. Aligning network and device longevity is a core pillar in a company’s long-term IoT strategy.
The IoT industry has come up in leaps and bounds, and hence it is essential to make systems where information is scalable. Message design of IoT devices helps for infrastructure scalability. We at Zigron have Cloud Engineers who use the best IoT scalable messaging practices in which the message is kept in JSON format, which contains publish-in time and unique ID of IoT devices. Likewise, meaningful or historical information helps for alarm generation conditions. With experience in building and running mission-critical applications, Zigron is your ideal partner to plan, set up, and securely run highly scalable IoT infrastructure. We are partners with major cloud providers and are in the best position to handle edge computing so you can get most of the modern, ever-evolving IoT and machine learning technologies.
Ammad Ahmad works as a Technical Content Lead. He has a background in Computer Networks and a strong interest in learning and sharing up-and-coming Computer Networking trends.