Internet of Things (IoT) describes an emerging trend where a large number of embedded devices (things) are connected to the Internet to participate in automating activities that create compounded value for the end consumers as well as for the enterprises. Many organizations are hesitant to tap into the power of the IoT due to the vulnerabilities and evolving threat while working with and managing such diverse and constantly evolving devices and the network environment that they operate in.
SmartCity, SmartHome, SmartEnergy, SmartWearable, SmartEnterprise… SmartX. But just how smart are these IoT solutions, really?
Many early IoT deployments simply connect an asset to the internet but have no strategic plan for how to leverage the data to deliver smart services that will enable a smarter future. As such, they paint themselves into a corner because they can't find a path to scale their hardware and software solutions to generate revenue.
Last two decades saw the emergence and evolution of two of the most exciting technologies, Internet and mobile. Internet is becoming more accessible through mobile devices due to evolution of wireless technologies (2G, 3G and now LTE).
From the time of its conceptualization, Long Term Evolution (LTE) has been positioned as a distributed and flat architecture whose strength lies in its simplicity. However, it wasn’t long before tech titans started acknowledging the benefits, perhaps even the need, for centralization in the LTE stack even if it violated the initial premise. This is where Cloud RAN, also referred to as C-RAN or Centralized RAN, brings value to the table. Wikipedia defines C-RAN as “[A] centralized, cloud-based architecture for radio access networks that supports 2G, 3G, 4G and future wireless communication standards”. C-RAN comprises centralized baseband units (BBU) and distributed remote radio heads (RRH) connected through high-capacity, low-latency links. Put more succinctly, the C-RAN architecture involves splitting the baseband processing between RRH and BBU functions, preferably running the latter on commodity servers in a virtualized environment with the intent of optimizing cost while offering easily-scalable solutions.