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NFV's Role in HPE IoT Move

December 06, 2016

While there's been a lot said about the potential involved in the Internet of Things (IoT), for both good and ill, there hasn't been quite as much made about how users are to adopt this system into everyday operations. In fact, some reports suggest that mass adoption of IoT is going to prove difficult, with many barriers inherent in its launch. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is poised to make that a bit easier, however, with a little help from network functions virtualization (NFV).

A slate of new innovations emerged from HPE, geared toward making IoT operations that much easier to roll out. From the HPE Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) to the Universal IoT Platform, as well as a set of tools from the Aruba line like the ClearPass Universal Profiler and the 2540 Series switches, there's a lot of new tools afoot. Much of HPE's focus is on reducing connectivity costs and making device communications operate on more of a universal language than seen previously.

The MVNE, for example, allows better control over those systems  that turn to cellular connectivity, and give rise to new opportunities for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to step in and offer the connectivity necessary to drive large-scale machine to machine (M2M) operations. Better device management  and data management at the edge all add extra value to the equation, which connects nicely to the growth of NFV operations.

HPE senior vice president and general manager Keerti Melkote commented ““Cost-prohibitive economics and the lack of a holistic solution are key barriers for mass adoption of IoT. By approaching IoT with innovations to expand our comprehensive framework built on edge infrastructure solutions, software platforms and technology ecosystem partners, HPE is addressing the cost, complexity and security concerns of organizations looking to enable a new class of services that will transform workplace and operational experiences.”

Meanwhile, putting NFV to work in situations like these helps draw some of the weight off an in-house network by converting some functions to virtualized functions. With the weight taken off servers and the like in that direction, it allows more resources to be brought forward and transferred into IoT and M2M operations. Bandwidth is always a limited commodity, so by using currently-available bandwidth better, the end result is a smoother overall operation that can accommodate more functions.

While it may seem like  a stretch to try and connect NFV and IoT, there's actually some common ground here. It's all in how network resources are used, and that means that HPE's recent move to bring more IoT to regular users will need a little help. NFV can deliver that kind of help, on at least some level. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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