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Network Communications News

June 2018

Eye of the security holder Could biometric security be the answer for millions of consumers accessing their information without worrying about a breach?

INSIDE... A fibre diet The UK government should curb its enthusiasm for a full-fibre roll-out...

Not easy being green Telecom Green discusses viable ways of softening the impact of the throwaway IT culture...

Causing a Ruckus The age of Industry 4.0 is almost upon us... Make sure you’re ready.


In this issue… Regulars

Knowledge Network

4 Editorial

14 Why does IoT need network security?

Should connectivity be a human right?

6 Industry News What’s been going on in the wonder ful world of networks?

N e d Ric h a rd s of Po d G ro u p a d d re s s e s t h e c u r re nt s tate of s afet y w i t h i n I o T co m m u nic at io n s; exp l a i n i n g h ow we c a n m o nito r mi sc h i ef

16 Sunshine and rainbows

12 On the Case Who is up to what, and why?

20 Q&A NCN has the pleasure of meeting the man behind the mask, Ken Hosac, VP of IoT strategy at Cradlepoint

Like fruit that will never ripen, Steve Leighton, CEO of Voneus, explains why the Government’s plans for a full-fibre Britain will fall short


18 Take me to the clouds above Jake Echanove, director of systems engineering at Virtustream, recommends features to look for in a cloud provider that will enable your organisation to successfully move extreme workloads to the cloud


14 06

@NCNMag 2 | June 2018


Network Communications News

June 2018

June 2018

Green IT 22 Going green Rob Govier, director at Telecom Green Ltd, discusses viable ways of softening the impact of the throw-away IT culture

Eye of the security holder Could biometric security be the answer for millions of consumers accessing their information without worrying about a breach?


Not easy being green

A fibre diet

Telecom Green discusses viable ways of softening the impact of the throwaway IT culture...

The UK government should curb its enthusiasm for a full-fibre roll-out...

Causing a Ruckus The age of Industry 4.0 is almost upon us... Make sure you’re ready.

Editor-in-Chief: Daniel J Sait 01634 673163 |


24 Green fingers

Assistant Editor: Jessica Foreman

Veracity analyses the inescapable environmental costs of the era of modern digital systems; closely evaluating some of its product offerings and how they fend in the world where going green is vital

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Designer: Jon Appleton

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Studio Manager: Ben Bristow 01634 673163 |

Industry Focus: Switches & Routers



Editorial Coordinator: Jordan O’Brien 01634 673163 |

Business Support Administrator: Carol Gylby 01634 673163 |

26 Get wired for success Massimo Mazzeo Ocello of Ruckus Networks details why wires still matter for businesses that want to thrive in the age of industry 4.0

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The editor and publishers do not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors, nor do they accept responsibility for any errors in the transmission of the subject matter in this publication. In all matters the editor’s decision is final. Editorial contributions to NCN are welcomed, and the editor reserves the right to alter or abridge text prior to publication. © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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June 2018 | 3


Connectivity, is it a human right?


ay back when, a human right would be determined as simply being able to live; having access to food, water and shelter. But what is now being demanded of the western world, and of businesses in particular, requires constant accessibility to the internet. As we continue to develop smart cities and initiatives, the demand for instantaneous access to data will only increase. Has it come to the point now whereby everyone should be benefitting from connectivity, regardless of geographical location and status? Addressing the aforementioned, the WiFi4EU initiative is now well underway, and despite the turmoil that surrounds Brexit, the scheme offers to fund public Wi-Fi infrastructure in town centres and centres of public life. As part of the Digital Agenda 2020, WiFiEU will be aiming to meet growing connectivity needs and strive to assist businesses in their quest to thrive in the growing digital economy in which we now find ourselves. The UK is no exception to the scheme either, though eligibility criteria must be compiled with for the entire duration of the grant. As we have covered in NCN previously, the UK is already basking in the

4 | June 2018

Jessica Forman, assistant editor

benefits of connectivity and this scheme may be the answer to other cities to implement a network and create an infrastructure from which to build on. We have covered a lot of talk about smart cities and implementing city-wide Wi-Fi, but could this really be the first step toward making this all a reality? Simply put, yes; but time is of the essence. NCN recently had an interesting conversation with Nick Watson, VPw EMEA of Ruckus Networks, talking more in-depth about the implications of this level of connectivity and whether longterm it is actually feasible. Nick, in reference to his own research, said, “We found that there are plenty of benefits and business cases for smart cities in Europe. When we spoke to IT decision makers in the public sector, 78% told us that there is a strong business case for investing in smart city deployments, with increased citizen safety considered the biggest benefit alongside improvements to local health, transport and education services. Early adopters like the City of York, for example, have already implemented city-wide Wi-Fi which supports their flexible working aspirations and provides a channel for dialogue between the council and both business

and citizen audiences. On top of this they have built a tourism app running on the Wi-Fi, with goals to add more services and applications from smart traffic control to advertising.” But it isn’t just Wi-Fi that we need, it’s the right sort. Nick went on to tell NCN that, “Sometimes implementing Wi-Fi can create more problems than it solves. Signal interference harms performance and delays developments. Instead of adding more access points, intelligent technology is needed to manipulate Wi-Fi signals to target whoever needs it.” Nick continues, “Cities will also need a Wi-Fi solution that works alongside the many other communications signals and devices that exist in the IoT. Being IoT ready is integral to the success of smart cities and creating an ecosystem of devices that work alongside one another is fundamental to the successful digitalisation of services, however, there is currently a great deal of complexity involved in creating and managing these networks.” Ul t i mate l y , t h e q u es ti on of w h et h e r o r n ot co n n e cti v i ty i s a h u m a n r i g ht i s n ot t h e mos t p re ssi n g ; i t i s h oweve r i mp or tant t h at su c h sc h e m e s m eet b oth t h e co n n e ct i v i t y n e e ds for today a n d to m o r row.

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5G for Moto mod, are we there yet? Who hasn’t heard of 5G? The hype that surrounds it has been nothing short of phenomenal, but how close are we to actually reaping its benefits? And what are the chances that we would willingly switch out our trusted iPhone, Samsung or Google Pixel to reap the benefits of a 5G Moto Mod? Back in late December 2016, Motorola announced it was taking it up a notch by accelerating the pace on its ‘mod’ add-ons for the Moto Z line of phones; professing back then this could be the way forward in taking phones to 5G. Senior director of product management, John Touvannas at a press event back in 2016 said, “Without having to wait for the nextgen phone that can bring the next technology or capability, we can get that quicker through the mod.” Now under the ownership of Lenovo, Motorola announced that it may be releasing a 5G Moto Mod that, not only adds an unsightly antenna lip – as rightfully spotted by XDA-Developers – but could boost Motorola phone sales. Due a new flagship device, the maker said its Moto Z3 Play is well on its way with the specs; offering a mid-range Android 8.1 Oreo phone. Leaked specs include a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery, 6-inch 18:9 FHD+ AMOLED display, dual cameras on the back, and microSD card support with 32GB or 64GB built-in storage options. Though not a new development – in fact they have been around for three device generations – Moto Mods haven’t

really seen niche success with Moto phone users. However, the promise of 5G could change all of that. The company has shown optimism that a 5G mod may be enough to convince a few consumers to make the switch. Although already tested by Motorola there is one big question that NCN wants answered; it’s all well and good having a 5G capable device but don’t you need a network that supports it? Until that becomes available we will remain sceptical as the current telecommunications market doesn’t cater for this, and though we are on the brink of 5G, we aren’t there just yet and the roll-out will take time. So even if this 5G mod goes on sale, it is uncertain whether it will actually boost the device’s connection speeds. Motorola

A glimpse of the 5G future The Huawei 5G Roadshow made its latest stop in its Western Europe tour with an appearance at the famous Oval Cricket Ground in central London. The home of Surrey County Cricket hosted the fully customised 5G demo truck as telecom operators, government officials, media and other partners gathered to see and hear more about Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of 5G products and solutions; while witnessing the capabilities of 5G via live AR drone demos. The event host, Jerry Wang, CEO of Huawei UK, was on hand to highlight the value that 5G will bring to the UK in terms of enhancing people’s lives, improving businesses, and driving economic growth. Wang noted, “The truck demonstrates our commitment to help build a betterconnected UK, based on a consistent R&D strategy, a portfolio of end-to-end products and solutions and cooperation with local partners. Expanding and evolving existing LTE networks and their derivatives, together with exploring new vertical segments like enterprise and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the first steps in making 5G a reality.” Huawei said its 5G roadshow will cover 10 countries in west Europe and is expected to host more than 7,000 attendees. The truck includes a full 6 | June 2018

range of 5G solutions to guarantee an optimum deployment of 5G technology, including 5G core network, 5G bearer network, 5G base station, and 5G terminals including the world’s only commercial terminal – Huawei’s 5G customer premise equipment (CPE). Huawei recognises itself as a pioneer in the development of 5G technology, which it stated it has been investing in since 2009. Via its X Labs development centre, the company acknowledge that it has worked with over 280 partners on creating real-life user cases in

key vertical sectors, such as cloud, virtual reality, connected cars, drones, e-Health and smart manufacturing. The company also claims to be cooperating with industry partners to push the development of a UK 5G industry ecosystem via the creation of several cross-industry organisations, such as 5G Slicing Association (5GSA), 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation(5G-ACIA). Huawei


The struggle is real Apricorn, manufacturer of software-free, 256-bit AES XTS hardware-encrypted USB drives, announced its new research which highlighted that 95% of surveyed organisations in the UK recognise problems with mobile and remote working, and, worryingly, nearly one in five (18%) suggest their mobile workers don’t care about security. All (100%) surveyed IT decision makers noted that they had employees who work remotely at least some of the time, with an average of over a third (37%) of staff members who do so. With a significant increase in the numbers working remotely – and consequently more data moving beyond the confines of the corporate network – organisations have an increased need to ensure that any data, be it at rest, or on the move, remains secure. While many are said to be taking steps, such as implementing security policies for mobile working and bringyour-own-device (BYOD), to ensure their data is protected, just under half of respondents (44%) still agree that their organisation expects their mobile workers to expose them to the risk of a breach. Roughly a third (32%) said that their organisation has already experienced a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working and, to add to this, 30% of respondents from organisations where

the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies are concerned that mobile working is an area that will most likely cause them to be non-compliant. Research found that 53% cited that one of their top three biggest problems with remote working is due to the complexity and management of the technology that employees need and use. Over half (54%) stated that, while their organisation’s mobile workers are willing to comply with requests relating to security measures, employees lack the necessary skills or technologies required to keep data safe. Nearly a third (29%) take a more radical approach of physically blocking all removable media, and a further 22% have asked employees not to use removable media, although they have no technology to enforce this. “The number of organisations blocking removable media has increased compared with responses to the same question in 2017, when 18% said they were physically blocking all removable devices. A unilateral ban is not the solution and ignores the problem altogether while presenting a barrier to effective working. Instead, businesses should identify corporately approved, hardware encrypted devices that are only provided to staff with a justified business case. The approved devices should then

be whitelisted on the IT infrastructure, blocking access to all non-approved media,” said Jon Fielding, managing director, EMEA, Apricorn. Despite strict security policies, mobile working can still leave organisations wide open to the risk of a data breach. Half (50%) of respondents admitted one of the three biggest problems with mobile working is that they cannot be certain their data is adequately secured. Only around half enforce and are completely confident in their encrypted data in transit (52%), in the cloud (52%) and at rest (51%). “While the new GDPR legislation requires the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data, encryption is not a new concept, and keeping data secure has always been imperative to any organisation handling sensitive information,” added Jon. “Organisations are simply not following security best practices. They need to implement and enforce policies and provide employee training to ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Failing to put processes in place is putting confidential data at risk and with the GDPR legislation in place, organisations face the prospect of being fined even before a breach has occurred,” advised Jon. Apricorn

June 2018 | 7


“We can do anything that women can do” RingCentral released its survey findings and, in a bold statement, announced, “Navigating multiple communications apps at work annoys men more in every situation; women, west coast workers and baby boomers lead in conquering app overload.” Though quite a brash statement, RingCentral’s research is not to be dismissed but rather acknowledged for what is it, quantitative data. Highlighting women to be the sole perpetrator of ‘crushing’ men in the workplace is rather radical. For that reason, we here at NCN want the focus to be on all aspects of their research, including the other fundamental factors: geographical location and age. RingCentral, provider of global enterprise cloud communications and collaboration solutions, has released new findings exploring how workers manage app overload in relation to their gender, geographic location, and age group. While workers around the world still have a long way to go to effectively manage the influx of workplace apps — specifically communications apps — west coast employees, women, and baby boomers are said to be leading the way in reducing the chaos and moving toward workplace zen. A March 2018 survey report conducted by CITE Research on behalf of RingCentral, From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, found that using multiple communications apps designed to enhance productivity in many cases actually hampered effectiveness when combined. According to the report, seven in 10 workers waste up to an hour each day navigating these apps — the equivalent of up to 32 wasted days per year. The survey of 2,000 knowledge workers across all industries in the US, UK, and Australia found that all workers are not created equal when it comes to managing this communications chaos. Based on their gender, geographic location, and age group, certain workers are ahead of the pack in their quest to overcome app overload and achieve workplace zen.

‘Women rock multitasking at work’ The company said that, upon closer analysis the sur vey results show that women consistently get less annoyed than men when navigating multiple apps, suppor ting other research findings that women are more at ease with multitasking. In all 14 scenarios explored in RingCentral’s research, findings suggested that men always find navigating multiple apps more ‘annoying’ than women do. The biggest gaps between genders were in the following scenarios:  5% percent of men find navigating apps more annoying 5 than losing weight, compared to 47% of women. 5 0% of men find navigating apps more annoying than dealing with an insurance company, compared to 42% of women. 4 6% of men find navigating apps more annoying than someone chewing with their mouth open, as opposed to 40% of women. 4 0% of men find navigating apps more annoying than their laptop freezing, compared to 35% of women.

With age comes zen: Baby boomers quiet the chaos Older workers (aged 55 and older) were found to navigate fewer apps and find communications volume less challenging, putting them ahead on the path to workplace zen. This is likely because baby boomers use the fewest communications apps.

8 | June 2018

Just 41% of baby boomers use more than three apps regularly (i.e., at least once a week), compared to 50% of Gen Xers’ and 57% of millennials. Only 2% of working baby boomers navigate between apps more than five times per hour; compared to 19% of Americans and 22% of millennials. While 70% of Americans overall find the volume of communications challenging to getting their work done, 64% of working baby boomers find it challenging. “We still have a long way to go to curb workplace productivity losses that result from switching between communications channels, but we can learn invaluable lessons from those that have made headway overcoming app overload,” said Neha Mirchandani, vice president of corporate marketing at RingCentral. “Our report From Workplace Chaos to Zen revealed that integrated workplace communications solutions that minimise the number of apps deliver time savings, better collaboration, and increased productivity. Two in three workers called for a single platform to manage all their communications and help them achieve what has eluded them to date—workplace zen.” RingCentral


Banking on biometrics With customer experience and convenience acting as major drivers for the adoption of biometrics, it was only a matter of time until a company started to research the impact this could have on the current IoT and smart city movement. But the question on the lips of everyone here at NCN is how influential could the adoption of biometrics actually be? With a focus on banking, Goode Intelligence published the results to its latest research project: ‘Biometrics for Banking; Market and Technology Analysis, Adoption Strategies and Forecasts 2018-2023 – Second Edition’. The company said that the research identifies that by the end of 2020, some 1.9 billion bank customers will be using biometrics to do a number of tasks, such as:  ithdraw cash from ATMs. W P rove their identity when contacting their bank via telephone (both actively and passively). P rove identity for digital on-boarding using their face. A cc e s s digita l ba n k se r v ic e s t h ro u gh an i ncrea s in g n umber of co nne cte d IoT d evices includin g s m a r t h o m e devi c es a n d via con ne cte d c a r a nd smar t city s er vices . A uthenticate into a mobile bank app using their biometric, either using an embedded sensor or through an app or SDK. A n d , u s e a c o m b i n at i o n of b i o m et r i c m o d a l i t i e s ( fa c e a n d vo i c e fo r i n s ta n c e) to i n i t i ate m o n e y t ra n sfe r s w h e n a c c e s s i n g we b - b a s e d eBanking services.

According to Goode Intelligence, biometric vendors have been experiencing tremendous growth on the back of the escalation of consumer-led adoption of biometric authentication. The adoption for banking purposes is a major contributor to this growth; and, Goode Intelligence has forecasted that by 2023 it will contribute US$4.8 billion in revenue for companies involved in delivering biometric systems to the banking industry. During its research studies the company recognised that biometrics for banking is an increasingly vital part of a bank’s toolkit. With its never-ending task of reducing financial fraud and ensuring that customers can conveniently prove their identity; implementing a biometrics system can result in smarter identity verification and authentication for the customer-first bank. Alan Goode, founder and CEO of Goode Intelligence and author of the report, said, “Biometric technology is being rapidly deployed to support a wide range of banking services, from the traditional – ATMs and branches – to the new banking channels of mobile and IoT. Customer experience and convenience are major drivers for the adoption of biometrics by agile third parties wanting to differentiate their services with each other – it will be an ultra-competitive market and, biometric authentication could be a key differentiator. “The emergence of new channels is being driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) and we are only at the beginning of a movement that allows bank customers to access banking services from a wide range of intelligent connected devices that include the smart home, smart car

and smart city. The availability of secure banking APIs – part of the open banking movement – is allowing third parties to integrate banking services into their devices and services, allowing bank customers to better manage their dayto-day finances. Biometric technology is fast becoming the glue that binds this technology together – passively verifying a person’s voice while they talk to their smart speaker – allowing them to pull up their latest account balance with a voice command. Then actively requesting a face or palmprint when the bank’s risk engine decides that a money transfer request is outside the normal risk appetite. For instance, that ride-share through the streets of central London is a riskier transaction than the one initiated at home. This linking of fraud management, adaptive authentication and a choice of passive and active biometric tools, will be key for banks wanting to stay in the game. “Of course, treating biometrics as an important tool for banks, rather than thinking of it as a silver bullet, is vital in securing digital transformation projects that leverage biometric technology are successful.” The report investigated the current global adoption with market analysis including key drivers and barriers for adoption, interviews with leading stakeholders, technology analysis with review of key biometric technologies and profiles of companies supplying biometric systems to banks. Goode Intelligence

June 2018 | 9



How to combat against the rising mobile and IoT threats? Allot Communications Ltd, a provider of network intelligence and security solutions for service providers worldwide, released its findings from its Telco Security Trends Report. The company said the findings revealed a dynamic and automated threat landscape in which consumers lack the security expertise to effectively protect themselves. The findings suggested that mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to be primary attack vectors, contributing to a spike in crypto jacking, adware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. T h e c o m p a n y h a s s a i d i t s Te l c o S e c u r i t y Tre n d s Re p o r t i s b a s e d o n a n o n y m o u s d a ta g a t h e re d f ro m fo u r c o m m u n i c a t i o n s s e r v i c e p rov i d e r s ( C S P s ) a c ro s s E u ro p e a n d I s ra e l – w h o , b et w e e n t h e m , p rote ct s eve n m i l l i o n c u s to m e r s . I t fo u n d t h a t d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d f ro m N ove m b e r 2 01 7 to F e b r u a r y 2 01 8 , n e a r l y t w o b i l l i o n m o b i l e s e c u r i t y t h re a t s w e re b l o c ke d – a n ave ra g e o f t w o e a c h d a y p e r m o b i l e d ev i c e .

10 | June 2018

Of those security protections:  lmost one billion were triggered by A crypto mining malware, the leading security threat, corresponding to the rise in cryptocurrency valuation in late 2017/early 2018. O ver one hundred million threats were triggered by adware only. F orty thousand threats were triggered by direct attacks in the form of ransomware and banking trojans.

The escalating IoT Threat Landscape? As part of the study, Allot said they set up honeypots simulating consumer IoT devices and exposed them to the internet. The consequent results of this showed immediate successful attacks, peaking at a rate of over one thousand per hour, with findings revealing that a device can get infected within 42.5 seconds of being connected to the internet. Additionally, the company also saw an increase of unique IP addresses attacking the honeypots over time, from 44 per day to a peak of 155 per day in less than a month of exposure.

Connected devices are forecast to grow to almost 31 billion worldwide by 2020. To help combat rising threats across this expanding mobile and IoT attack surface, the report found that CSPs are best positioned to deliver a unified, multilayer security service delivered at the network level to the mass market. By merging value-add networkbased security with built-in customer engagement capabilities, the company professed that CSPs can simultaneously achieve rapid customer acquisition and high adoption rates of 40%, while generating incremental revenue. “Cybercrime has become rampant across the growing mobile and IoT attack surface due to the financial motivation it provides” said Ronen Priel, VP product management at Allot. “CSPs can differentiate themselves from the competition by offering value-added security services to subscribers who are constantly under attack, while generating incremental revenue. It’s a win-win for both the CSP and subscriber.” Allot Communications

June 2018 | 10

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Business jets to get EU aviation network access in 2019 In-flight Wi-Fi is becoming a common requirement for passengers when it comes to choosing who to fly with. That’s why the European Union pioneered the European Aviation Network, a hybrid-network built by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom in cooperation with Nokia, to provide the backhaul for in-flight Wi-Fi for domestic flights within Europe. I nternatio na l Airlin e s G ro u p , t h e ow ne r of B ritis h Airwa ys a nd Ae r Li ngu s, is s et to be the l a u nc h p a r t ne r for t he n etwo rk, with Lu f t h a ns a s a id to be kee n a ls o . Inma rs at h a s a nno u nc e d a fu r ther roll -o ut, howeve r. Wit h t h e bu si ne s s aviatio n ma rket s et to get infli ght Wi-Fi ca pa bil ities co u r te s y of t h e Eu ropea n Aviation N etwo r k a s s o o n a s Janu ar y 2019. Aviation is set to be an explosive growth opportunity for network installers, with both commercial airlines and private plane owners both looking at installing in-flight Wi-Fi. With the European Aviation Network set to go live in 2019 for business aviation, this represents a prime opportunity for UK network installers.

EAN, the world’s first inflight Wi-Fi solution, is said to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and an LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, covering all 28-member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway. T h e u n i q u e c o m b i n at i o n o f a s ate l l i te a n d 4 G LT E - b a s e d g ro u n d n et wo r k o f fe r s s u p e r- fa s t , l ow l ate n c y p e r fo r m a n c e ove r l a n d a n d wate r. A s a re s u l t , i t i s s et to m e et h i g h l y d e m a n d i n g i nte r n et u s e , s u c h a s wo r k i n g w i t h re m ote b u s i n e s s d e s k to p s , s t re a m i n g h i g h - d e f i n i t i o n

v i d e o s , e n j o y i n g o n l i n e ga m i n g a n d s h a r i n g i m a ge s , w i t h s e r v i c e l eve l s t h at c o m p a re to m o b i l e b ro a d b a n d o n t h e g ro u n d . Aircraft’s connected with the network using a small, ultra-lightweight, low drag hardware that is said to be both cost-effective to install and operate. The maker identifies the EAN as ideal for small to mid-sized business jets, in addition to larger sized jets. Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said, “EAN is a game-changer for the business aviation market, offering gold standard inflight Wi-Fi to a broad spectrum of aircraft, from small turboprops to larger plat forms such as the Citations, Learjets and Phenoms. It really is ideal for any business jet whose mission keeps them predominantly in Europe. EAN’s integrated satellite and ground network is fully operational, with a number of flight trials successfully completed across Europe, demonstrating that the next-generation service meets its design per formance in practice. Inmarsat

‘Sustainable smart buildings now and in the future’ Siemon, a global network infrastructure specialist, said it has continued its commitment to adding value to its global network of installers and contractors by developing and enhancing the Digital Lighting Partner (DLP) programme. The company affirmed that its DLP programme has been designed to deliver business opportunities to a network of Siemon installers by leveraging key industry partnerships and growth in the development of intelligent buildings. Siemon said it recognised growth of IP-based intelligent building and Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled lighting technologies has rapidly turned the role of network cabling into a building asset; which, not only supports voice and data, but an array of building automation system (BAS) services over one structured cabling network. These include audio/ video, energy management, lighting controls, security, digital signage, fire and safety systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). The company announced that its DLP programme is specifically designed for network and low-voltage (LV) cabling contractors to help them leverage and further expand their knowledge of IP network deployment and become a go-to expert in the PoE lighting space – a market that, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets, is estimated to grow from €6.5 billion in 2018 to €17.4 billion by 2023. Subsequently, customers seeking to deploy IP-based intelligent building and PoE lighting technologies will be able to connect with low-voltage experts for new projects. Siemon’s professed that its DLP programme will benefit from specialised training with remote or onsite sessions and

12 | June 2018

access to a vast pool of educational resources including webinars, white papers and technical guides. Additionally, members of the programme will have access to Siemon’s intelligent building exper ts and Technical Ser vices Group who are readily available to suppor t at every phase of the project cycle providing help in solution selling, design assistance, vendor alignment and sales suppor t. According to Siemon, eligible contractors will benefit from the company’s ecosystem of partners who are market leaders in provisioning services for intelligent buildings. Today, the company is globally aligned with some of the world’s leading PoE equipment manufacturers, lighting vendors, systems integrators, software application developers, managed services providers as well as experienced intelligent building consultants and developers. Simeon


Technology meets tradition In a city already brimming with famous landmarks, the imposing SSE Arena Wembley in London holds a special place in the hearts of many. For generations, it has been a venue where memories have been created, thanks to it hosting countless music, comedy, family entertainment and sporting events since it opened its doors in 1934. Originally commissioned to host the British Empire Games, since then it has been home to popular TV shows like the X-Factor, while also being a high-profile platform for artists ranging from Tom Jones to Def Leppard to perform to their fans. While the building has remained largely unchanged externally, visitor and audience expectations have evolved considerably, as has the technology used to bring an event to life. To meet next generation requirements, today, state-of-the-art Delta Electronics LED 50/50 Strip Displays have been installed to bring attention-grabbing images to the 53 metre wide gable on the top section of the arena. The company said installing such technology into the building’s unusual shape was far from easy, and it was down to the expertise of Visual Technology to merge new technology with historical design, which presented it with a number of installation challenges. At its highest point the building reaches an impressive 14 metres, and at its shortest point scales down to a mere

metre. Additionally, Visual Technology’s expert team had little room in which to conduct the installation; after all, Wembley was built in an era way before such displays were commonplace and making room behind the facade for their installation was not a priority for Sir Owen. A further consequence of the building’s design meant that the small space behind the facade –combined with the prodigious heat generated by the ‘greenhouse effect’ of the glass created a very hot working environment for the team to operate. Despite the aforementioned obstacles, from an advertiser’s investment perspective, the display still had to be highly reliable and capable of showing images consistently all through the year, irrespective of the weather. One final consideration for Visual Technology, was the request by Historic England that the building’s iconic design would not be compromised by the installation of the displays; it insisted on at least 50% transparency to enabled sight through the displays, so the back wall was still visible to passers-by. Given these challenging requirements, Visual Technology decided that an LED solution was best suited to Wembley’s needs. With its interactive technologies for large exhibitions, tradeshows and command/control room environments, Delta Electronics’ LED 50/50 Strip Display

made an ideal choice for this application; not just for its flexibility, but also for the company’s proven reliability in even the most demanding environments. Mounted inside the building to preserve the entire facade unaltered, Delta Electronics’ LED solution displays information in support of events that are taking place inside Wembley Arena, as well as tour posters or adverts for any global brands associated with an event, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Given the arena’s prominence and the stunning images produced by Delta Electronics’ LED 50/50 Strip Displays, it has also been used for displaying seasonal greetings as well as for sharing messages of solidarity following highprofile tragedies in the UK and overseas. To ensure that the displays always perform as expected, Visual Technology inspects the system twice yearly, and thoroughly assesses many critical components like fans, control equipment and PC and video processors, while also checking that mechanical connections are firmly located. Delta Electronics

SDChain Alliance Partners with Robustel SDChain Alliance, the world’s first public Blockchain based on international standard truly adopted to ensure the reliability of the IoT, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guangzhou Robustel Co, an Industrial IoT/M2M Hardware and Solutions Provider. SDChain Alliance makes full use of blockchain for IoT applications. SDChain envisions that IoT data from the physical world should be sharable via a fast

and co s t - ef fe ct i ve d i g i ta l b l o c kc h a i n net wo r k w h e re d ata p ro d u c e r s a n d d ata u s e r s co nd u ct d i g i ta l a sset exc h a n ge , wit h in a n op e n p a r t n e r sh i p e co sy ste m, b a s e d o n g l o b a l l y sta n d a rd i ze d I o T si xd o m a in m o d e l . The full realisation of IoT’s potential depends largely on interoperability among IoT systems. According to a McKinsey study, by 2025 the number of devices connected to the Internet will reach 25 billion, and the output value will reach USD 6 trillion, with the associated economy going up to USD 36 trillion. Research and Advisory firm ISG also believes that the benefits of IoT are undeniable. It can bring much of the physical world – from industrial assets to commonplace devices to people – into a connected ecosystem, resulting in better business outcomes. Viewed against this background the emergence of the SDChain Alliance

assumes greater significance. “The distributed network architecture of blockchain technology provides a mechanism to maintain consensus among IoT devices, without the need for verification with the centre to address security threats and protect user privacy. Blockchain technology can provide pointto-point direct interconnection for data transfer, greatly reducing the cost of computing and storage.” said Dr. Shen, chief scientist of SDChain. Commenting on the MoU, Mr David Pan, CEO of SDChain Alliance, observed that, “SDChain Alliance is proud to be strategically aligned with Robustel, which possesses strong technical strength and rich market experience. Through leveraging the value of the blockchain, we will explore the potential of innovative applications with IoT and blockchain technologies together.” Robustel

June 2018 | 13


There are many proactive ways to secure your IoT devices

Why the IoT needs network security Ned Richards of Pod Group addresses the current state of safety within IoT communications; explaining how we can ensure it remains as far away from tipping point as possible.


s the IoT approaches 30 billion connected devices, built-in security vulnerabilities begin to pose a much greater threat to the entire ecosystem. Baked-in security protocols mean that legacy devices can be easily breached, and with the evolution of malware like Mirai (which recruited routers and other ‘smart’ devices into a botnet for DDoS attacks) businesses of all sizes are at risk of their customers’ data being used maliciously. Added to the fact that most end-users are not aware of the risks, the safety of IoT communications is currently at a tipping point.

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Tackling network threats The problem with IoT devices is that they do not have the processing power to host traditional anti-malware or firewalls. This means that the traffic to and from an IoT device is reliant on the network to protect its payload, and often IoT companies assume that a level of security is included in their provider agreement. Network operators face a similar problem to end-users their equipment was never meant to deal with the sophisticated attacks we see today, and not on this scale. Operators act as the gatekeepers of

network communications, with all traffic passing through their infrastructure no matter the level of device protection, so it is more important than ever that users are aware of the threat level to their devices. VPNs are touted as the answer to all security concerns but are not an ideal solution when it comes to the IoT. While a VPN is designed to secure your network, ‘fencing’ it off from the public internet, all a hacker needs to do is access one device, and they can control all the devices within the VPN. According to Clemens Vasters, senior program manager at Microsoft’s Connected Systems Division, “The security

KNOWLEDGE NETWORK of a virtual network space solely depends on controlling and securing all assets that connect into it, which obviously includes physical access security.” Websites like Shodan provide a database of default passwords and given that most users do not change this passwords, and that IoT devices are often unsupervised, hackers may be able to bypass a VPN completely just by typing in the password.

Monitoring mischief VPNs do not show who is accessing the network, even if it is accessed ‘legitimately’ using a password. If the behaviour of a device is monitored - where and when it sends data, contact with unknown IPs, or any action that goes against the normal operation of the device - then users can look into their own activity and take appropriate action based on this strange device behaviour. Pod’s advanced VPN service provides this warning, giving IoT companies the head-start they need to prevent one infected device overwhelming the whole network. For tracking applications, for example, this could show a fleet manager that a device has contacted an IP address outside their jurisdiction, meaning someone might be using it illegitimately. For more sensitive applications, or remote devices that cannot be accessed without incurring huge costs, replacing or disabling the device is not always an option. Imagine an oil pipeline with a flow regulator that is irregularly sending packets. The foreman can’t preemptively switch off the devices, as pressure could build and burst any part of the line, but this means a hacker also cannot be allowed access.

Advanced analysis For applications that need more protection, Pod Protect provides a deep insight into your network communications, reading not just the packet header (which includes routing and classification information) but the payload of the packet, the actual data included in the transmission. This means that users can see device behaviour and also the characteristics of

With 30 billion connected devices, built-in security vulnerabilities begin to pose a much greater threat

their traffic, to know for sure what threat they face. For our pipeline foreman, this insight would be invaluable, allowing him to single out and disable the infected device, without having to shut down the system or risk a malicious attack. By passing network traffic through a detection centre equipped with machine learning heuristic techniques, Pod Protect creates a profile of your normal device behaviour, and alerts you to anomalous or suspicious traffic in real time. The type of threat (malware, virus) is also provided, allowing users to proactively protect against similar attacks or recognise a budding botnet.

“Most endusers are not aware of the risks, consequently the safety of IoT Triple threat protection communications The most sensitive applications, is currently however, cannot afford any level of access to their network, even if at a tipping a potential breach can be quickly point.” identified and snubbed out. Financial institutions, hospitals, and governments are just some of the sectors being connected to the internet with the most to lose if their customers’ data was stolen. Others like the oil pipeline mentioned earlier have equally sensitive transmissions without handling sensitive information, but the combination of these two factors makes consumer-centred applications like these all the more at risk. Pod Connect creates a completely private channel for communications, separate

even from the internet, offering the highest level of protection for connected devices, secure enough for government institutions. While not every device needs this level of defence against prying eyes, the threat to IoT systems is growing faster than many realise, and the earliest indications of danger are now horribly out of date considering the size of the attack sur face and the amount of attention IoT technology has attracted.

One step ahead There are many proactive ways to secure your IoT devices, some of which (changing your password, patching regularly, physically securing devices) are not as common as they should be. To keep your communications out of the hands of bad actors, and not have to worry about keeping an eye on your device fleet (which may not be possible) network security provides an extra layer of protection above the device level. Pod’s suite of security solutions allow you to monitor device behaviour, respond directly to threats, or keep anyone off your network who is not welcome. Keeping your traffic safe is all the more important as the IoT grows and becomes more open, and network security lets you stay one step ahead of threats - more like a moat and drawbridge than a set of garden fences. Pod Group

June 2018 | 15


It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for full-fibre Like a fruit that will never ripen, Steve Leighton, CEO of Voneus explains why the Government’s plans for a full-fibre Britain will fall short.


he Government’s vision for a full-fibre Britain – as reiterated by Philip Hammond at the annual CBI dinner on 22 May 2018 – is never likely to come to fruition. According to Philip, over a million premises currently have direct access to fibre networks with 70% of those put in place in the last 18 months alone. He reinforced that a target of 15 million premises will benefit from full-fibre by 2025, and, as he put it, ‘to finish off the job’ will deliver a nationwide full-fibre to the premises (FTTP) network by 2033. Laudable aims but not achievable. In simple terms, there will never be a nationwide FTTP network. It is just not a realistic proposition.

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There is no doubt that the UK needs to significantly boost its roll out of fibre; we are still near the bottom of the league when it comes to European broadband penetration. Indeed, our fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) figures are so low we don’t even make it onto the FTTH Council Europe’s national league table. In that sense, it is great that the government recognises the importance of rolling out fibre and is setting improvement targets. According to Ofcom’s UK home broadband performance report published in May 2018 – and based on figures for the period to November 2017 – broadband coverage in the UK is improving. One million UK homes – 4% of the nation’s premises – can now access full-fibre networks

with speeds in excess of 1Gbps and 93% of UK homes can now access superfast broadband services (defined as 30Mbps). Although I personally applaud these advances, the picture isn’t quite as sunny as it first appears to be. As such, only a small proportion of homes that can today access full-fibre have actually signed up to these services. Furthermore, 21% of UK home broadband connections delivered an average download speed of less than 10Mbps, largely due to the limitations of the technologies that deliver last-mile connectivity over the copper local loop. A poor broadband experience is particularly true for consumers in rural areas, where there is lower availability of superfast broadband

KNOWLEDGE NETWORK than in urban areas. The differences in performance between urban and rural areas remain significant. The proportion of lines receiving an average download speed of more than 30Mbps at peak times was significantly lower for connections in rural areas of the UK (23%) than in urban areas (59%). According to Ofcom, 3% of UK homes still can’t even access 10Mbps download speeds (the Universal Ser vice Obligation). However, in rural areas, the propor tion of ‘have nots’ is much higher at 16% (indeed it’s as high as 26% in Scotland) – rural communities are still getting a raw deal. The Ofcom report states that superfast broadband was available to 95% of urban premises in May 2017, compared to 66% in rural areas. In addition, longer average copper line lengths in rural areas mean that the speed of ADSL broadband tends to be lower than in urban areas. FTTH is being touted as the answer and a number of alternative broadband network operators have sprung up over recent years to help boost the nation’s fibre network coverage. Research firm Point Topic’s April 2018 report into the Alt Net market backs up Hammond’s and Ofcom’s assertions, confirming that the UK’s alternative broadband network operators are estimated to have passed or addressed nearly one million homes and businesses with fixed superfast or ultrafast networks at the end of 2017. Point Topic says the majority, but not all, of this coverage uses ultrafast fibre-to-the premises or home (FTTP/H) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology. However, there

are only 207,500 live connections to superfast and ultrafast fixed networks provided by Alt Nets, meaning the take up rate is little more than 20%. By my estimation, there are at least 300,000 UK homes that will never be able to access FTTH – it’s not economically viable for the operators to lay fibre to many locations. So, alternatives need to be found particularly for those in rural areas. Interestingly, in its report, Point Topic states that fixed wireless access (FWA) is already playing an important role in extending the range of fibre networks and claims Alt Nets operating FWA networks could cover up to an estimated two million premises. That’s giving double the current number

Laudable aims but not achievable.

“There is no doubt that the UK needs to significantly boost its roll out of fibre; we are still near the bottom of the league when it comes to European broadband penetration.”

Is the Government’s plan too ambitious?

of premises access to fibre networks without the performance degradation of using copper. Point Topic estimates there are already over 100,500 live connections to Alt Nets’ FWA infrastructures. By using FWA, instead of relying on copper, homes and business are able to connect to the nearest fibre infrastructure via high speed wireless networks. Cheaper, less disruptive and quicker to deploy than fibre, it can be configured to reach even the remotest of communities, delivering speeds many times faster than legacy copper connections, meaning high speed broadband that is plenty fast enough to run small businesses or to meet the multiple requirements of busy households. The Government’s ambitious plan to upgrade the nations digital capabilities is laudable. However, we need to accept the reality that fibre to every home and business is not a practical option because of cost and environmental impacts of laying fibre. The good news is that FWA provides a low cost, high performance, easy to deploy mechanism for those that do not have direct access to FTTH enabling them to connect to the nearest fibre node using a high-speed wireless link. Furthermore, this doesn’t require a wait until 2033 to become a reality, in many instances this can and is being rolled out now. Voneus,

June 2018 | 17


Take me to the clouds above Jake Echanove, director of systems engineering at Virtustream recommends features to look for in a cloud provider that will enable your organisation to successfully move extreme workloads to the cloud.


What should you look for in a cloud provider?

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s any IT professional knows, running large and resource intensive workloads in the cloud is extremely difficult. The cloud is often billed as a panacea, but the truth is that, for most organisations, architecting large workloads in the cloud is a heroic endeavour – one that must be executed with exact precision. There is no margin for error, and one small misstep can result in nightmares for CIOs. Acco rd i n g to t h e Fo r re ste r st u d y , ‘ C l o u d M i g rat i o n : C r i t i c a l Dr i ve r s Fo r S u cc e ss’ , 8 9% of e a r l y m i g rato r s h ave exp e r i e n c e d p e r fo r m a n c e c h a l l e n ge s af te r

mi g rat i n g t h e i r mi ssi o n - cri ti cal a p p l i c at i o n s; t h e r u n n i n g of su c h a p p l i c at i o n s i n t he cloud i s d i f f i c u l t . A l l ev i at i n g r i s k, li mi ti n g b u si n e ss d i sr u pt i o n a n d en s uri n g t h e ta rget a rc h i te ct u re wi ll sat i sf y t h e m o st st r i n gent SLAs re q u i re s exte n si ve exp eri en ce a n d a sp e c i a l sk i l l set that i s rare i n t h e i n d u st r y . A few months ago, I was speaking with a prospective customer about his organisation’s current infrastructure situation. They were in a tough spot; to stay competitive, his company needed to push its SAP workloads to the cloud. However, in his view, this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. With a 50+ terabyte

KNOWLEDGE NETWORK By 2019, 62% of organisations are expected to migrate to the cloud.

1 “The cloud is often billed as a panacea, but the truth is that for most organisations architecting large workloads in the cloud is a heroic endeavour – one that must be executed with exact precision.”

database and over two million transactions daily, shifting to cloud wasn’t a real possibility – even a remote one. He told me, “There’s no way you can do that.” and his general thinking is actually correct. Most cloud services providers can’t handle what he was looking for. However, with the right experience, technology and approach it can be done; I’ve solved my fair share of difficult engineering problems, including some like this. In order to identify what cloud provider will enable your organisation to successfully move extreme workloads to the cloud, here are four recommended features they should be able to offer:

Purpose-built hardware

Firstly, it is vitally important that your cloud infrastructure is powered by hardware that is purpose-built to support missioncritical workloads. Purposebuilt hardware provides better performance and control as it is specifically designed to suit the needs of your organisation. Your reference architecture should capitalise on enterprise-grade infrastructure to provide the necessary storage, compute, and networking equipment to handle even the most aggressive workload requirements.


Connected Infrastructureas-a-Service


Cloud management platform

One of the most power ful features for mission-critical cloud migration is Connected IaaS, a dedicated kit that supports the most resource intensive workloads. The environment connects to a general, multitenanted infrastructure so that organisations are able to run workloads such as the 50TB, multi-million transaction beast mentioned above alongside more general-purpose workloads. Additionally, Connected IaaS helps to meet the most stringent compliance and security requirements, and is capable of connecting with other cloud services.

A cloud management platform is essential for providing a unified, cloud-agnostic control pane that can bring together infrastructure orchestration, enterprise application automation, business intelligence (BI) and service delivery into one single convenient tool. A cloud management platform can allow organisations to run mission-critical enterprise applications in the cloud, with the per formance and scalability needed to be competitive.


Cloud resource technology

Another highly valuable feature is MicroVM, a unique cloud resource technology that ensures cost efficiency no matter how demanding or complicated the workloads. Research has shown the importance of cost efficiency for organisations, with 52% embarking on their cloud migration journeys to achieve cost savings. As part of the xStream Cloud Management Platform, the MicroVM construct is able to dynamically tailor resource allocation to meet the exact workload demands and then, like a utility provider, only bills for the resources used. So, it is clear that migrating and managing mission critical applications in the cloud can be a challenging process. Choosing an experienced cloud provider that is able to accommodate your mission-critical cloud needs is essential; feature enterprisegrade infrastructure, Connected IaaS, a cloud management platform and cost-saving resource technology are also fundamental in maintaining a smooth transition. Most importantly, enterprises should partner with a provider whose expertise is in running SAP in the cloud; whereby experts have extensive experience working directly with SAP and other mission-critical applications. Whether like the client I mentioned you have a 50TB database or have the data of millions of customers to uphold, there are excellent solutions to ensure the performance and security of your business is not compromised. Given the clear advantage to enterprises, it is unsurprising that the migration of mission critical applications continues to grow. By 2019, 62% of organisations engaged in active cloud projects are expected to migrate, and with the correct cloud provider, your organisation could be one of them. Vir tustream vir

June 2018 | 19


Disruptive change brings great opportunity NCN has the pleasure of meeting the man behind the mask, Ken Hosac, VP of IoT strategy at Cradlepoint.

What were you doing before you joined Cradlepoint and how did you first get involved in the industry?

t h e wo r l d a n d t h e p e r so n a l re l at i o n sh i p s I ’ ve d eve l o p e d a l o n g t h e wa y .

I’ve been at Cradlepoint about nine years, but my entire 30-year career has been in networking and computers. 20 of those years have been specifically in wireless communications.

Which major issues do you see dominating the data/comms industry over the next 12 months? F ro m my p e r sp e ct i ve , t h e i n d u st r y i s go i n g t h ro u g h t h re e si g n i f i c a nt t ra n si t i o n s at t h e sa m e t i me :

Are there any major changes that you would like to see in the data/comms industry?

T he migration from 4G LTE to 5G. T he migration from hardwarecentric networking to softwaredefined networking. T he explosive emergence of enterprise IoT.

More wireless, more software and less custom hardware. The good news is that it’s happening now!

What is the main motivation in the work that you do? Knowing that we’re making significant differences within our customers’ own businesses to make networking easier, more reliable, and more agile. I spend a lot of time on the road talking to our enterprise customers to better understand their pain points, so that I can help influence our company direction and solution definition.

In addition to earning a living, how else has your career created value in your life? For me , the va l ue create d i nvolves bro a d intera ctio n wit h d i f fe re nt compa nies a ro u nd

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“More wireless, more software and less custom hardware. The good news is that it’s happening now.”

Di sr u pt i ve c h a n ge b r i n g s g re at o p p o r t u n i t y , so i t ’ s fa b u l o u s to b e i nvo l ve d .

What is the toughest lesson you have ever been taught in your career? Pat i e n c e . I t ’ s my n at u ra l i n st i n ct to wa nt t h i n g s to h a p p e n fa ste r, w h et h e r i t ’ s n ew p ro d u ct s a n d fe at u re s, c u sto m e r d e a l s to c l o se , d e p e n d e n c i e s to b e re move d o r co mp l ete d . A s a n i n d i v i d u a l , y o u h ave m o re co nt ro l ove r y o u r ow n p a c e . A s a te a m , i t ’ s a l ot mo re ef fo r t a n d wo r k to ke e p t h i n g s go i n g . Howeve r, te a m s o bv i o u sl y h ave t h e a b i l i t y to a cco m p l i sh m u c h m o re t h a n t h e i n d i v i d u a l eve r c a n .

What gives you the greatest sense of achievement? In my professional life, it’s positive customer feedback about company responsiveness and the value of our solutions. It’s not easy to create that environment without great teamwork, innovation and execution.

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why? Anywhere with either mountains or water. I travel enough for work to see some great places around the world, but holidays for me are about relaxation, recharging, and spending time with family and friends.

If you could travel back to any time period in history which would it be and why? It depends on whether I get to come back or not, and my mode of transportation and protection when I get there! I am very curious, however, what the world looked like before humans, shifted continents, and extinguished species.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? First best advice is ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. Second best advice is ‘stay humble and hungry, or you will be’. Cradlepoint


June 2018 | 21


Going green Rob Govier, director at Telecom Green Ltd discusses viable ways of softening the impact of the throw-away IT culture.

Does your server room double up as storage space?


ringing together two issues concerning the future of our world, technology and the environment, Green IT is a rather prominent topic that should be discussed at length in our industry. As technology continues to advance and dominate western culture, the view that there is a considerable amount of pressure on the IT community to safeguard individuals and the society it serves. More notably however, there is a demand on the IT community to fulfil this role in a manner that is both suitable and efficient. But why is Green IT so important and what options are readily available to be explored? Like everything, anything we do has an environmental impact, and this does not exclude IT. At a figure equivalent to aviation, it

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may be a shock that statistically the global IT industry accounts for approximately 2% of global CO2 emissions. But the real question is what approach can be implemented quickly and efficiently to combat some of the issues surrounding the footprint IT companies leave. As many ongoing debates continue to arise – the carbonfootprint of data centres, power usage, and dolphin-friendly patch leads – it is an unfortunate actuality that, for IT managers, the whole Green IT issue regrettably comes down to a large pile of redundant hardware. The functionality and expectation of a server room now is that it doubles up as a storage space – full of piles of redundant hardware. It’s like a veritable fat-berg of servers, switches, routers and redundant fiddly bits. Slogans about responsible sourcing, a

300-word environmental policy, and cardboard from ethically managed forests won’t mean much here. But how often, in an office environment, do you hear the uttered words: “We have all this spare kit which is not being used, can we do anything with it?” The answer, and disappointingly so, is rarely. The IT hardware business is supremely wasteful; no-one seems able to spot the contradiction between OEMs driving churn of equipment, while sloganeering their eco-credibility. Perfectly serviceable equipment will reach the ‘end of its life’ way before it’s time; replacing it will be something that provides marginal benefits. Sadly, we have to learn to live with this resource-hungry habit as it is now an uncontrollable fact of commercial life. But is there a way of softening the impact of the throw-away IT culture?


Part exchange welcome Accord in g to the WEEE Re gu lation s , vendo rs sh o u l d of fe r a ‘ta ke ba ck’ fa cil it y ; shou ld they fa il to com p l y t h e y r i sk pros ecutio n. Howeve r, it ’ s a fe atu re that needs ca ref u l moni torin g by the buye r a s sc ape go ats a nd l o o p-h o l e s ex i st ­– a nd, n o doubt, th e re wi ll be wa ys in which th e y can shi rk their res pon s ib il it ie s . Sadly , des pite this ‘ta ke b a c k ’ sti pu lation , it is s tra n ge l y i nevi tabl e that the pil e of redu nda nt ha rdwa re wil l grow.

Reuse is the best form of recycling I s i t wo r t h s o m et h i n g to s o m e o n e , s o m ew h e re ? We l l i f you find yourself pondering on t h i s fo r to o l o n g , t h e a n s we r, m o s t l i ke l y , i s y e s . T h e re i s a n ex i s t i n g s m a l l c o m m u n i t y of u s e d h a rd wa re t ra d e r s w h o m a y eve n c o n s i d e r b i d d i n g o n y o u r d i s c a rd e d h a rd wa re . H oweve r, d o n ’ t b e s u r p r i s e d i f t h e i r of fe r i s a f ra ct i o n of t h e o r i g i n a l p u rc h a s e p r i c e ; t h e y a re n ot f u e l l i n g a F e r ra r i h a b i t t h ro u g h g ro s s l y i nf l ate d p ro f i t s , b u t w i l l b e awa re o f t h e t r u e m a r ket va l u e of h a rd wa re , a n d t h e s h e e r s p e e d o f d e p re c i at i o n . To get t h e b e s t va l u e , ta ke s o m e t i m e to b row s e a u ct i o n s i te s , s e e w h at i s s e l l i n g , a n d get a n i d e a of wo r t h . T h e n m a ke a n i nve nto r y . Ta ke p h oto s ( y o u c a n ’ t s e l l a s e c ret ) . T h e n b ra c e fo r i m p a ct . Y e s , t h at re a l l y i s w h at y o u a re b e i n g of fe re d .

Help, it’s worth nothing Don’t wo rry, there a re s p e c ia l is t s who w i ll remove a n d rec y c l e – t hi nk ‘ ho us e clea ra nce’ . T h e y wi ll (or s ho uld) is s ue y o u a d u t y of care document on co l l e ct io n whi c h covers yo ur j o int l ia b il it ie s u nd e r the WEEE directi ve . T h e y shou ld a ls o be a Licen s e d Wa s te C ar r i e r, which yo u wil l b e a b l e to c he ck via the Environm e nt A gency webs ite. The ca r r ie r wi ll proba bly extra ct a ny ite m s of resal e va l ue, a nd del ive r t h e balance to a wa s te proc e s s o r, d ocu mentin g the j ourn e y at eve r y sta ge.

By staying informed we can help fight the inherent wastefulness of what we do for a living.

Do they pay me, or do I pay them? Most IT equipment is very messy waste – a mixture of steel, copper, plastic and heavy metals – think pomegranate, not banana. In most cases it’s a fiddly process to remove anything of stand-alone value. Therefore, most servers, routers, etc., are shredded, and various products separated via complex and expensive equipment. The return is negligible and may just cover some of the cost of collection. Sorry, but you will have to pay, unless your inventory contains some items of exceptional resale value.

The dream solution In the carnage of IT industry wastefulness, there is one good news story. There is hope. Several organisations specialise in refurbishing hardware and shipping to schools, charities, and similar bodies in the developing world. Your recent desktop or unfashionably small flat screen monitor could potentially revolutionise the lessons of a small school in sub-Saharan Africa. They won’t be able to use your blade server in a 2m cabinet, but those spare flat-screen monitors, box of keyboards and nest of mice will be supremely useful.

“The IT hardware business is supremely wasteful, no-one seems able to spot the contradiction between OEMs driving churn of equipment, while sloganeering their ecocredibility.”

Don’t be a hoarder Don’t ask how, but hoarding tends to be an inevitable occurrence in an office environment; and that stack of used switches and desktops in the corner of the server will only grow like a bed of mushrooms. Clutter attracts clutter. ‘Dead stuff’ will prevent access to live stuff and slow down your crisis response. We have occasionally walked away from PABX removal work when faced with a hardware log-jam. Through resale, through removal, through donation to recycling charities, there is a way to fight the inherent wastefulness of what we do for a living. Telecom Green Ltd

June 2018 | 23


Who has the greenest fingers? Veracity analyses the inescapable environmental costs of the era of modern digital systems, closely evaluating some of its product offerings and how it fends in the world where going green is vital.

T The constant cry for more data storage is having lasting effects on the environment.

24 | June 2018

he IT department of the typical large enterprise or publicsector organisation has changed dramatically over the last decade. Increasingly, IT admins have absorbed a greater share of the critical infrastructure and facilities management duties as the IP-based network becomes the backbone for many organisations. Everything from the telephones on desktops to running a business continuity strategy has an IT element. An increasing trend is involvement in CCTV. This has accelerated as video surveillance has moved from the analogue era to modern digital systems, with video transmitted across IP

networks and stored on general purpose data storage devices. This is not necessarily the greenest nor the optimum solution.

How green was my array? In this world, nothing is certain except death, taxes and the constant cry for more data storage. It’s an inescapable fact that technology-driven improvements in HD or megapixel camera resolution offer a desirable upgrade for owners of legacy analogue CCTV systems, or a new surveillance system installation. Who wouldn’t want to record video of an incident in the greatest possible detail, in all possible light

conditions, so that they can be sure of identifying the culprit? Many IT departments have been given responsibility for the management of the corporate CCTV system. As surveillance footage is continually being written to disk, not only does this add pressure to the available bandwidth across the corporate network, but also the IT department’s dilemma of where they are going to store this relentless download of data. With RAID being the legacy storage format, many IT departments believe that adopting the same solution to managing video data is acceptable. However, IT data and IP video data are not the same. The quality and quantity of data generated by IP cameras is significant, and all that detail comes at a price. Putting aside the retail cost of the cameras, these higher volumes of storage have both a fiscal and environmental cost. With a trend to longer retention periods for training and forensic evidence purposes, the smaller 1-3TB hard disk drives (HDD) are now being replaced by disks with a much larger capacity: the latest offers are now capable of 14TB, and many smaller disks are sent to the WEEE bins. Disks generate heat, and if adding more of them to a RAID system, you have to install more air-conditioning in your control room or server space at anything between 1.4 and 2.5 times the wattage of your system, creating a negative environmental impact. The disks vibrate as the head writes the data to the disks. This increases the wear and tear on the drive heads, and consequently RAID systems need their disks replaced with a higher frequency given their ‘always on’ nature. These disks are difficult to recycle and require extra energy to do so.

GREEN IT The RAID system hardware also needs replacing on a regular basis through deterioration, and the resultant waste goes to WEEE on a four to five-year cycle. Veracity’s COLDSTORE, the world’s first storage system designed specifically for video, was conceived to increase the reliability of HDDs and, in doing so, reduce the level of failures and the waste associated with their disposal. COLDSTORE can use any standard SATA HDD in its 15-disk array, not necessarily the more expensive enterprise-grade surveillance disks, and records the video in the same way that it is generated – sequentially. The data is written to disk like a vinyl record player, from the outside in, and this patented approach has significant implications on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a surveillance system. Firstly, the disks are written to in sequence and not to a complete array (RAID), so only two of the 15 disks are active at any one time. This means that in combination with the customdesigned low-power electronics inside the unit, COLDSTORE uses only 10% of the power required for a traditional, similar-sized RAID system. Specifically, COLDSTORE operates at 60 watts for a massive 180TB of storage. Secondly, by reducing the temperature, vibration and wear, the HDD life-cycle is increased by x10. This reliability is key and the very first installations of COLDSTORE in 2011 in Hull, Burnley and Leeds city centre control rooms are still using the original 1-2TB disks supplied at the time of installation. This again reduces the impact of the storage requirements on the supply chain and the environment. Thirdly, with less energy consumption comes dramatically lower Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) requirements. A smaller UPS contingency is needed, which itself saves energy and manufacturing costs. The reduction in heat waste also drives a reduction in air conditioning requirements, saving a substantial amount in the HVAC budget and also energy waste. An example of this would be North Lanarkshire Council, which installed a significant number of COLDSTOREs

in 2011 and advised soon after that it had been possible to switch off two industrial-sized air conditioning units that together were consuming more than 15 kilowatts of power per month. The overall running costs of the Central Monitoring Unit’s (CMU) CCTV equipment had fallen by over 55% compared to the previous RAID-based system. Bring this forward to 2018, and they have now removed all cooling from the data centre which supports the CMU. This has not only freed up valuable space, but they can report energy savings of well over 90% for the unit. In addition to these energysaving benefits, COLDSTORE features two additional solutions which can further assist in cutting the system TCO. COLDSTORE allows for direct-to-storage recording from open-platform IP cameras supplied by two leading manufacturers by placing the COLDSTORE SDK within the camera. This substantially reduces the hardware and infrastructure required for a surveillance system, once again reducing energy and manufacturing costs.

Convert it, connect it, extend it Veracity offers a full range of IP transmission products designed for IP video, and the very nature of a surveillance network means that these solutions are equally usable by an IT department in LAN connectivity. Having created the Ethernet over Coax (EoC) market with the launch of HIGHWIRE in 2006, a highly reliable fitand-forget EoC adapter, the environmental benefits derived by eliminating rip-and-repair projects is well understood. The potential disruption caused to infrastructure and public movement when

“In this world, nothing is certain except death, taxes and the constant cry for more data storage.”

removing legacy coaxial cable is significant, and the resultant environmental waste generated is great. The challenge of recycling copper from coax cable is removed by using HIGHWIRE, as well as the purchase of replacement Ethernet cable. Engineering travel is also reduced, plus much of the additional refurbishment costs. By designing HIGHWIRE Powerstar, a POE over Coax adapter, the need to purchase and install parallel power cables to the cameras is also removed. HIGHWIRE Longstar (with unrestricted 100BASE-T and POE over 1,400m on RG11) completes the EoC set offering extreme distance, and used successfully by Transport for London in its tunnels when extending the Jubilee Line. As a family of HIGHWIRE products offering multi-channel options at both the camera/device end of the cable and the base, further environmental savings can be made by connecting four devices to a single coaxial cable at the camera end, rather than one for each. Veracity’s IP products are sold throughout the world via integrators, distributors and partners and have a strong reputation for innovative design, high quality, reliability, and a very long lifecycle. Veracity,

June 2018 | 25


Get wired for success Massimo Mazzeo Ocello, director of systems engineering, EMEA at Ruckus Networks details why wires still matter for businesses that want to thrive in the age of industry 4.0.


usinesses are looking to numerous current and emerging technologies to transform their business operations. Many businesses have adopted cloud computing, others are exploring big data, while sectors such as manufacturing, logistics and smart cities have begun a wholesale adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). However, these technologies also require strong foundations and these same next-generation adopters are finding themselves limited by poor infrastructure that

26 | June 2018

was never intended to handle today’s IT environment; meaning businesses risk missing out on the efficiencies and opportunities these new technologies offer. Network modernisation has been earmarked as a necessary requirement for IT modernisation, acting as the backbone and foundation for implementing new technology. This cannot only mean upgrading the wireless network, but also the wired as well – that still matters. So, for those businesses that are undertaking this network modernisation, what should they consider ?

Vicious cycle Modern networks have to deal with an ever-changing number of users and devices on a daily basis. Imagine a school campus or a hospital. These environments have influxes of active users and devices, requiring networks to scale to an increasing per capita bandwidth demand, while also providing for services such as CCTV or IoT monitoring devices. Typically, this means squeezing more throughput into smaller spaces. To achieve this, modern networks need a switch with a high stacking density, allowing you to


What should businesses undertaking network modernisation be considering?

“The situation is clear, without strong wired foundations businesses can forget about deploying the latest digital transformation solutions.” get more switches in a stack, thus limiting inter-switch bottlenecks and offering cost-effective largescale chassis replacement at the campus aggregation. Another important factor to consider when modernising your network is how you’re going to manage it. Managing networks can be a costly and time-consuming process, particularly if your wired and wireless networks use different management tools. Choosing a solution that offers management of both wired and wireless networks through the same platform simplifies operations, improves

scalability and performance and lowers the total cost of ownership. Furthermore, solutions that collapse multiple network layers into a single switch – flattening the network and reducing the complexity – can further simplify management of the network and onboarding of new access points and switches. For businesses that rely on connectivity, these steps are crucial to ensuring that there is no network downtime and resulting negative knock on effects for customer service and business performance. While the majority of us connect our devices to our networks almost exclusively via wireless means, it’s the switches that create the campus fabric, over which your devices connect to one another and the outside world. Without high capacity switches, this connection is slow and risks holding your business operations and digital

transformation efforts back. Furthermore, without the correct switches in place, you run the risk of your network becoming very redundant, very quickly – given the pace of technological change, the business imperative of adopting new digital processes and the increased demands placed on networks as a result. The situation is clear, without strong wired foundations businesses can forget about deploying the latest digital transformation solutions. Without said foundations, networks will lack the capacity to scale to the demands of the modern workplace, factory or public service, let alone be able to handle future IT deployments such as IoT devices. For businesses that want to thrive in the age of Industry 4.0, the wires still matter. Ruckus Networks

Why are wires important in our wireless world?

June 2018 | 27

Energy and power monitoring solutions for data centres

ET272 Self-addressing energy transducer

WM50 + TCD12 Modular main and sub metering for PDUs

DEA71 / DEB71 Earth leakage monitoring relays

Carlo Gavazzi UK Ltd. - 4.4 Frimley Business Park, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7SG Tel: 01276 854 110 -

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