Information Technology Infrastructure: The Future
We are living in an era of rapid change, in particular, within information technology infrastructure – nowhere is change more rapid than within networking and computing. We are moving from an inward focused network architecture to a schema which is all about connections to the world outside the network. The Internet of Things will create massive change in networking, and it will change network infrastructure significantly.
Where, in the old days, data outages were simply accepted as part of the deal, now the issue is 100% up-time, and continuous availability. Networks are having to be re-architected to allow this to happen. This is one of the major reasons for the push toward virtualization and Software Defined Networks (SDNs).
One of the ways that information technology infrastructure will change is within the increasing importance of wireless devices in the network. Wireless devices are proliferating, and becoming increasingly mobile. Networks must be capable of handling these devices, recognizing devices that belong to the network, and rejecting rogue devices that have no business trying to connect to the network. As the Internet of Things becomes more important, the types of wireless devices will also increase and proliferate. Not only will there be WiFi (IEEE 802.11x) devices, as we have had for a decade, but there will also be cellular devices that will want to connect to the network from both inside a facility and outside. Policies and procedures must be in place to decide how much and what information a mobile device connecting from an insecure area should have access to. There will also be wireless sensor networks. There are already several types and protocols in common use. There are three versions of Bluetooth: standard, low power, and near field. There are several wireless protocols that are designed specifically for sensor networks: Zigbee, Z-wave, ISA100.11a, and WirelessHART. These device networks were specifically designed for the Internet of Things. There are others, and the network must be designed to be accessible to all of these protocols.
Cloud computing and virtualization are incredibly important for the infrastructure of the future. Your network must be capable of handling the traffic when more than half of your network is virtual and exists in a cloud server somewhere not under your immediate control.
This begets the next critical design issue for the infrastructure of the future: security. We all have to recognize that the challenges to the security of our networks are getting worse, and harder to defend. Passive defenses like firewalls and anti-virus are simply not enough. In depth, active defenses like edge firewalls, packet sniffing devices, and security aware switches and other devices are going to be critical. Not only will these features continue to be mandated, but they will be necessary to prevent the massive data breaches we have come to fear.
Infrastructure will need to be built with the tools to monitor and control complex hybrid networks. When a network has SDNs, physical segments, cloud segments, virtual segments, and a host of wireless devices moving in and out of the network, network administrators will need a strong suit of Network Monitoring tools – inclusive of Statseeker’s fully featured network monitoring system.
Thoughts? What do you think about the future of IT infrastructure, virtualization and network security? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.