THE UKâ€™S NO.1 NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE
Network Communications News
Get ready for 5G roll-out Find out the latest on this game changing technology
inside... IP Security
Playing the safety game
The rise of smart solutions
Cloud Computing and Virtualisation Building future services and applications
In this issue… Regulars
14 Ever Evolving Networks
Intelligent buildings doing the thinking for themselves
Mohit Lad of ThousandEyes argues that trying to understand network infrastructure without any application context is meaningless
7 Industry News This month’s highlights from across the sector
16 Caring About Cables
12 On the Case
Indi Sall of NG Bailey questions whether the time has come to abandon wires altogether
who’s doing what and where?
20 Project Focus Significantly reducing WAN traffic, Nuffield Health has embraced a cloud-first IT strategy, deploying a UK wide SD-WAN system courtesy of Silver Peak
22 Interview David Penny of Navisite talks NCN through its Channel Partnership Programme and details how it works
38 Company Showcase Getting to grips with new innovations
18 To 5G infinity and beyond Will 5G be the biggest development in connectivity yet? Jonathan Freeman of Telecoms & M2M examines the steps industries will need to ensure success
IP Security 24 Stormshield Speaks Security John Farebrother of Stormfield outlines that standard firewalls and security software are no longer enough to protect networks
40 Know How Explaining that we are at the tip of the IoT iceberg, Tony Judd of Verizon explores intelligent IoT capabilities and warns of a new frontier for hackers
26 NiceHash Hacked Becoming the latest victim to hackers, NiceHash has urged users to change passwords as a precaution
@NCNMag 2 | December 2017
CONTENTS THE UK’S NO.1 NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE
Network Communications News
Get ready for 5G roll-out
Cloud Computing & Virtualisation
28 Health of the Network Darren Turner of Carelink discusses the drivers of cloud in healthcare, delving into why the sector has been slow to migrate to date
Find out the latest on this game changing technology
inside... IP Security
Playing the safety game
The rise of smart solutions
Cloud Computing and Virtualisation Building future services and applications
Editor in Chief: Daniel J Sait 01634 673163 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Editor: Jessica Foreman 01634 673163 | email@example.com
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30 SolarWinds Introduces SAM NCN takes a closer look at recent performance and platform updates from SolarWinds
Intelligent Buildings 32 Smart Working Reeling-off the host of benefits, Adrian Kimberly at COPA-DATA explains why companies should take the smart working approach
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34 Superior Visual Collaboration
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Mezzanine from Oblong Industries streamlines pre-construction workflows for Holder Construction ABC membership approved, pending first audit.
36 Smart Building Security Wi-SUN Alliance research findings identify multi-layer protection for smart building solutions as ‘absolutely crucial’
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 2017. All rights reserved.
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December 2017 | 3
Making buildings intelligent not automated
CN magazine is part of a wider family of magazines owned by publishing company All Things Media (ATM), within our stable we have several titles which deal with the subject of intelligent/automated buildings and we have been involved in writing about this type of technology for over 20 years. In that time things have changed a great deal as the types of technology that drive automation and intelligence have shifted and designers have got better at matching functionality with what people really want from an intelligent building, be it a factory, an office or a home. For years the market was dominated by proprietary closed systems from a few manufacturers, which meant those tasked with implementing projects were limited in choice. That’s not to say those systems were not good, names like Crestron and AMX have in no small part blazed a trail and opened up the market, but things are different now. Many of these systems are still around and have a big role to play, as do more ‘open’ control
4 | December 2017
Daniel J Sait, editor in chief, ATM
wired back-bones like KNX, and of course the burgeoning world of the IoT. The proprietary systems themselves have also developed and become much easer to use with third party systems, however the landscape these days is much more ‘open’ and the concept is at an exciting cross roads in that it more possible to deliver genuine building intelligence, rather than automated functionality which even when based on genuine interaction and research between client and provider, may still be lacking. How many automated scenarios do we encounter in life that at first seem clever, but after a while feel unnecessary and impersonal? This is where the next stage of development needs to come and it is coming. Take lighting as just one example. Automated forms of lighting have been around for decades, but until now the technology to make them really intelligent did not exist. Now, with lighting systems coming to market which are not just connected to the network, they are a genuine part of the network getting their information and power direct from the network, a new level
of intelligence is possible. For example specialist installers can now match lighting systems to the natural Circadian rhythms that exist in every human, mimicking the passage of the sun, compensating second by second to provide a more natural and more productive working environment. Key here is that we move away from clients and installers anticipating and trying to learn how to create the best automated systems and functionalities, into a building with genuine intelligence which simply does the thinking for itself. Automated buildings, can be just as ‘dumb’ as normal ones, adding little benefit and in some cases adding another barrier between the buildings and a comfortable working or living space. However, the technology is now emerging, thanks to networked products, which can and will learn exactly what our needs are and provide them. The key to all of this future will be the network, those that understand networking and creating a strong and reliable backbone will be in demand, especially if they can also provide the intelligence on-top.
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Voip Unlimited In Pole Position To Support Students Formula One (F1) Connectivity specialist Voip Unlimited has continued with its sponsorship of local Southampton University Formula Student Team (SUFST) for the fourth year running, to incentivise the new electronics & telemetry focus. The firm’s forte with F1 originates from the avionics and motorsport IT specialist MD who founded Voip Unlimited in 2006. Mark Pillow who is known in the industry for his company’s competence with harmonising MPLS and telephony solutions for multiple F1 teams globally, helps the student team not only with funds, but also setting annual improvement challenges and acting as a technical mentor should they face engineering barriers. With this year’s challenge to create a custom telemetry system with a Mobile Command Centre, SUFST could utilise the power of sophisticated communications for data acquisition, to respond to the car’s endurance focus, in real time. As the only tangible extra curricular project offering tough decision-making skills required in real life firms, SUFST produces solid engineering abilities to employers straight out of university alongside a degree certificate, which in
Voip Unlimited continues to support for young engineers
the growing STEM industry is paramount. Being on the SUFST committee has often been the only thing students have discussed in successful interviews for crucial placements. These placements then recycle into knowledge and ideas when they return to the team for their final year. Mark says, “Formula One is an engineering sport. The magnitude of the teams behind the scenes is incredible. I like to see younger generations seeking knowledge in this field as the sport is going from strength to strength. These incredible students are getting stuck into this alongside challenging degrees, so when I can be a part of helping them go full circle, with many now working
in some of the largest F1 teams which utilise our connectivity solutions for the real races, then I am happy. “As title sponsor, I see my responsibility as a mentor to instil ‘Plan, Do, Review’. I present engineering challenges based on their weaknesses which we review each year. I will continue pushing the team to sustain their per formance spike, and achieve the goal of finishing top 20 in Europe with the staple VU logo on the rear wing.” Nathan Vosper, president/ team leader of SUFST, adds “Voip Unlimited has been our longest and most influential industry partner. Their support has been an integral part of our development as a young team. Over the past two years, their support has helped 11 of our members secure placements and graduate positions at top Formula 1 teams including Mercedes, Sahara Force India, Jaguar and Red Bull Racing. “Voip Unlimited supporting SUFST has kick started multiple careers and most recently enabled skills to start a business which could save life in aerospace with an engineering invention to stop autopilot failures.” Voip Unlimited 01202 612000, voip-unlimited.net
Submarine Networks 2018 Set For February 20-21 Submarine Networks 2018 is coming up, with CEOs and leaders of the subsea cable industry set to be in attendance to discuss global issues. As part of a focus in the EMEA region, nearly 90% of attending speakers and companies will be from these markets, with over 300 senior decision makers and 120 experts taking part. The event will provide the opportunity to hear from industry experts and leaders focusing on themes such as emerging and developing markets, the evolution of the subsea industry, the impact and rise of the OTT’s and network automation. The event will host executives ranging from government authorities, consultants, cable manufacturers and operators. They will primarily cover three key topics that currently challenge the industry: new drivers of demand including content delivery, upgrading networks and improving cables, finance in areas such as cable management
and funding new projects and finally, regulation of the marine environment. “Subsea is increasingly important as demand for bandwidth explodes. Its role is only going to become even more important as we move into IoT and 5G, so this event has come at a critical time,” says Total Telecom managing director, Rob Chambers. Submarine Networks 2018 will take place in London early next year
Speakers taking part in the event include Chairman & CEO of Seaborn Networks, Larry Shwartz, CEO of Deep Blue Cable, Stephen Scott, CEO of Aqua Comms, Nigel Bayliff, and executive chairman of Ireland-France Subsea Cable, Mike Cunningham. They are joined by similarly senior executives from companies including Telia Carrier, Virgin Media, Turk Telecom International, EllaLink, TI Sparkle, Microsoft, Cinia Group Oy and Tunisie Telecom. Taking place between 20-21 February at the Hilton Tower Bridge in London, the first day’s agenda will include topics such as current and popular business models, the rise of the content provider and potential finance and investment opportunities, including its challenges. The second day’s agenda will highlight regulation and cyber security as well as take a look to the future to see what might happen next for subsea communications. Submarine Networks 2018 terrapinn.com
December 2017 | 7
Transport for London: bringing comprehensive mobile signal to the Tube Mobile signal for calls and data will soon be ubiquitous on the London Underground, even in tunnels. One of the last not-spot bastions will finally get mobile coverage: from 2019, the London Underground will have blanket mobile service – yes, even in tunnels. This is after successful trials on the Waterloo & City line. The London underground seems to be running slightly behind when it comes to mobile phone signal on train networks – its actually already commonplace on underground train networks around the world, including in Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. London commuters and tourists can already enjoy Wi-Fi access at 97% of underground stations and plat forms, but it drops out as the trains travel through tunnels. The aim with these latest trials is to ensure calls aren’t dropped. Each of the four major operators – EE, Three, O2, and Vodafone – took part in the Transport for London (TfL) trial, though only the first two actually tested signal inside the tunnels. The trial ran outside of passenger hours on the Waterloo & City line — which only runs between two stations — and was chosen, not just because it has a more limited timetable, but also because its 2.1km tunnel is considered ‘particularly demanding in terms of radio coverage’. The culmination of the trial was taking a call in the ticket hall, walking
Mobile coverage will be rolled out to cover London underground tunnels
through the station to the platform, hopping on a powered track-trolley for a ride through the tunnel to the second station, and exiting to the ticket hall without dropping the call. The technology won’t inter fere with existing railway signalling systems nor with the existing Wi-Fi network, and TfL suggested that the Wi-Fi system would co-exist alongside the mobile coverage, as it may be useful for tourists. The trial also let TfL get some practice laying fibre cables across its network as par t of plans to set up its own broadband infrastructure. G ra e m e C ra i g , d i re cto r of co m m e rc ial d eve l o p m e nt at Tf L , id e nt if ie d t h at t h e p ro j e ct wo u l d a l so h e l p ge ne rate co mme rc i a l i n co m e to
re i nve st i n m o d e r n i si n g a n d i mp rov i n g t ra n sp o r t i n Lo n d o n . But TfL hasn’t stopped its advancement ideas there. An official planning document reveals the transport body hopes to launch three plans – mobile coverage underground, the fibre network, and 5G support. Graeme sais, “Our expectation is that the commercial partner will cover the capital and operating costs of the telecoms operation and would provide a revenue share for us.” With an incremental rollout starting by 2019, TfL said all work would be carried out within engineering hours so there would be no disruption to train services. Transport for London tfl.gov.uk
Walt Disney Company Selects AWS As Its Preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider The Walt Disney Company is set to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud infrastructure. This will represent a major expansion of The Walt Disney Company’s use of AWS. Disney plans on migrating production workloads to the AWS Cloud, although it already leverages AWS’s services for a wide variety of use cases, including websites and digital properties across all its brands, analytics, mobile, business applications, and machine learning. For more than eight years, AWS and Disney have collaborated as AWS has provided ongoing architectural best practices support to enable Disney’s planned migrations from on-premises to a cloud based architecture. Disney’s
8 | December 2017
various segments, including Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, and The Walt Disney Studios, currently run business critical workloads on AWS, driving optimal operational per formance and customer experiences. “Expanding our strategic relationship with AWS and making AWS our preferred public cloud infrastructure provider aligns with our overall technical strategy,” says Charles Weiner, senior vice president Enterprise Infrastructure Services for The Walt Disney Company. “We have had success modernising our IT operations and transforming the digital presence of our brands using AWS. We look forward to our continued collaboration as we accelerate our Digital
Platform migration to the public cloud.” “Leading enterprises across a wide range of industries turn to AWS for its unmatched breadth of functionality, compute capacity, highly scalable infrastructure, and proven operational expertise,” argues Mike Clayville, vice president, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “For as long as I can remember, Disney’s entertainment has brought millions of families together. Now, we are excited to be part of their technology family, helping them scale, add new services, and innovate with speed so they can continue to delight people every day, around the world.” Amazon Web Services (AWS) aws.amazon.com
SysGroup Delivers 46.6% Revenue Growth North West based SysGroup PLC (‘SysGroup’), one of the UK’s fastest growing managed IT services and cloud hosting providers, has announced revenue from continuing operations is up 46.6% to £3.93m for the six months ending September 30, 2017. The news follows a number of successes for the group this year, including the full integration of System Professional (acquired in July 2016), a newly established senior management team and the appointment of a group sales director and group marketing director. Continued investment has also been made in technology, including a newly established presence in a Manchester data centre. Reflecting on the growth the company has seen in the past six months, Adam Binks, chief operating officer at SysGroup, says, “This significant increase in revenue is real testament to SysGroup’s efforts in delivering structural and operational changes to better position the business to execute our combined organic and acquisitive growth strategy.”
SysGroup has also recorded sales pipeline growth of 17.1% to £4.1m since the end of its financial year in March 2017, which will be further boosted by the acquisition of Rockford IT in November this year; the company’s sixth acquisition in the last three years. This move has bolstered the group’s growth and competency, taking the total number of employees to over 100 with offices across the UK and expanding its market reach into additional vertical sectors, including hotels and leisure. “The long list of operational achievements to date, coupled with our strong sales pipeline, puts SysGroup in an excellent growth position, leaving us optimistic about our future and our continued commitment to our customers and partners.” Adam continues. This latest announcement, says the company, highlights the growing market demand for SysGroup’s flexible managed IT solutions and cloud hosting among customers from the financial services, insurance, retail, technology, not for profit, education and private health sectors.
SysGroup has reported some strong figures
Rockford IT is one of only two, WatchGuard Platinum Partner’s in the UK, which will also gives SysGroup the tools to build on existing partnerships and accreditations, while continuing to offer fully managed IT services, cloud hosting and IT security solutions to a wide base of customers. Further investment in capabilities and strategic acquisitions will be supplemented with organic growth in line with SysGroup’s strategy to expand its customer offering and geographic reach. SysGroup sysgroup.com
December 2017 | 9
EU cable industry hits €23.5 billion ™
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The European cable industry continued to show resiliency and steady growth in 2016, increasing 4% from the prior year, to €23.5 billion, according to the latest findings from the European Broadband Cable Yearbook from IHS Markit and Cable Europe. Key findings from the new 2017 report, which provides consolidated full-year 2016 figures for the European cable market, include: T he number of unique cable homes in the EU continued to climb steadily, reaching 65.1 million — or 30.5% of total TV households — at the end of 2016. R eflecting trends in consumer behaviour, internet revenue continues to rise, now comprising 34% of Western European cable operator revenue. G ermany remained the largest EU market, with over three times more unique cable homes than the next biggest markets — Romania, the UK and Poland — each of which had just over 5 million unique subscribers, compared to Germany’s 18.6 million. “European cable operators are focused on providing the best ser vices to their customers in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace,” says Maria Rua Aguete, executive director for media, ser vice providers and plat forms at IHS Markit. “Investments in network upgrades and advanced plat forms have already delivered in terms of ARPU and revenue increases, and are set to do so again in the coming years.” For the European cable industry, 2016 again witnessed mergers and acquisitions. In Belgium, Telenet made a €400 million bid for Altice’s SFR Belux. In the Nordic region, pay DTT operator Boxer was acquired by Com Hem, Sweden’s leading cable operator, in a deal worth €144 million. Spanish cable operator Euskaltel emerged as a significant player, consolidating the Galician operator R, which it acquired in 2015. Liberty Global’s UPC Polska, Poland’s largest cable operator, agreed to buy Multimedia Polska for approximately €700 million in cash. Even some of the smallest cable markets in Europe experienced important developments on the M&A front. “There’s plenty of room for further consolidation in cable, especially in fragmented markets in Central and Eastern Europe,” Rua adds. A number of significant content deals involving cable operators transpired in 2016, the highest profile of these a global partnership agreement between Liberty Global and Netflix, which brought the online subscription video service to cable subscribers across Liberty’s footprint. Previously, the US cable company had only offered Netflix to Virgin Media subscribers in the UK. The marrying of content and ubiquitous access remains a key strategic focus for cable operators, who demonstrate their broadband superiority by connecting more and more customers to DOCSIS 3.0 networks and, eventually, DOCSIS 3.1 and its gigabit speeds. Out-of-home Wi-Fi continues to be an area of investment as well. “ Ad va n c e d T V se r v i c e s t h at c ate r to u se r s’ chan gi n g exp e ctat i o n s a n d n e e d s w i l l h e l p o p e rato r s d e li ver the b e st exp e r i e n c e fo r t h e i r i nte r n et a n d co nte nt of feri n gs , ” R u a af f i r m s.
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ON THE CASE
Partnership offers peering services Colt Data Centre Services, the global data centre operator, has announced a new partnership with ESpanix, the largest and oldest Spanish neutral internet exchange. The agreement provides a more diverse portfolio of premium interconnection services to customers in Colt’s Madrid data centre. The added capability to connect directly to local operators in Spain is also set to provide improved performance and redundancy for Colt’s customer base. “The peering services we provide are a critical element of our customers’ connectivity strategies. It’s great to work with a trusted partner like Colt Data Centre Services to deliver communications and connectivity services to Spanish networks Cloud and Content providers,” says Cristóbal López, manager at ESpanix. “Colt’s carrier-neutral data centres provide the critical infrastructure that enables us to expand our neutral interconnection facility and peering platform.”
“Enhancing the availability of internet exchanges with our data centres has always been a key focus area for us. We are delighted to welcome ESpanix into our Madrid data centre. The added capability to connect directly to local operators in Spain provides improved per formance and redundancy for our customers. With this par tnership,
we can diversify our por t folio of offerings to our customers and accelerate our journey towards building a global ecosystem of internet exchange par tners,” says Matthew Cantwell, director of por t folio propositions at Colt Data Centre Ser vices. Colt Data Centre Service coltdatacentres.net
Enriching entertainment experience Computacenter, a renowned European IT provider, in the future. Additionally, the new platform allows Liberty Global to centralise its mixed product sets has announced that it has migrated cable giant across 12 individual operating companies into a Liberty Global’s operations onto a new private single offering. cloud environment using VMware technology. “The benefits of having a private cloud is we As the world’s largest international cable get to increase the capacity much easier than ever company offering quad play services, Liberty before. Working with a flexible capacity model, we’re Global must constantly introduce new features able to reduce the footprint inside the datacentre to keep up with customer demand. With services through having composable architectures,” explains delivered across 12 European countries, and Colin Miles, European VP of datacentre technology, a portfolio of brands including Virgin Media, Liberty Global. “We have been able to save a lot Telenet and UPC, the company needed to unite of cost, and started to break down some of the its operations to maximise agility. A traditional historical barriers we had to delivery and moving datacentre infrastructure no longer offered the Computacenter’s custom products much quicker to market.” flexibility Liberty Global needed. cloud environment enables “During the course of the project, we worked out Computacenter’s tailor-made private cloud Liberty Global to launch how Liberty Global needed to change the structure environment was chosen by Liberty Global to new features every month, of both its organisation and technologies to bring its providing customers with help improve customer experience, offer a greater real-time content and products to market quicker,” comments Marc Fryer, competitive advantage, and reduce overall innovative features head of cloud solution sales at Computacenter. “We business costs, among other benefits. Liberty have Computacenter team members working inside Global’s cloud new environment comprises around Liberty Global’s own cloud team to assist them in every aspect 1,000 virtual servers and supports business critical systems, from coding, through to network delivery and server build. such as the company’s backend television platform and user “ T h i s p ro j e ct i s a g re at exa mp l e of t h e c re at i v i ty an d identity solution for 25 million European customers. f l exi b i l i t y t h at C o m p u ta c e nte r c a n b r i n g to a c u stomer f rom With Computacenter supporting adoption at every stage, t h e d e si g n sta ge , a l l t h e wa y t h ro u g h to i m p l e me ntati on . from designing and implementing the container-based platform We ’ re ext re m e l y p ro u d to b e e n a b l i n g Li b e r t y G l o b al to to configuring the network and providing strategic advice, the e sta b l i sh a c l o u d e nv i ro n me nt t h at a cc e l e rate s i n n ovati on , cable company can now roll out new services immediately, and b o o st i n g i t s co mp et i t i ve a d va nta ge i n a n a l re a d y f i ercely will no longer be restricted by 12-month development cycles. co mp et i t i ve ma r ket . ” All new services will be hosted within the private cloud environment, with hybrid cloud capabilities to be introduced
12 | December 2017
ON THE CASE
Partnership Drives Cloud Adoption
Online shopping pioneer selects Snowflake to accelerate data science initiatives across platform
Empowering Data Scientists Snowflake Computing, the only data warehouse built for the cloud, has revealed that Overstock Inc., premier home goods and furnishings retailers, has selected them to scale and expedite its data science initiatives. With Snowflake, Overstock can fast-track highly impactful data science projects that allow it to deliver on its brand promise of using technology to help customers find just what they want, for less. Overstock joins fellow online retailers Rue La La and Rent the Runway in leveraging Snowflake’s modern cloud data warehouse solution. “A common meme in the data science world is that data scientists spend 80% of their time prepping data and 20% of their time building models, and we wanted to flip that ratio” says Joe Kambeitz, Overstock’s VP of product and analytics. “A key part of that initiative was investing in the right tools for our data scientists, and Snowflake is that tool when it comes to allowing data scientists to rapidly scale and deploy their workloads.” Overstock has utilised Snowflake’s cloud-built data warehouse to effectively load and integrate structured and semi-structured data in one place for quick and powerful analysis. Snowflake’s clone and time travel capabilities allow Overstock’s data scientists to independently and simultaneously work on their own golden data set. The company says its platform’s elastic compute and linear scaling capabilities enable unlimited parallelism and unmatched per formance, which allows Overstock’s data scientists to move faster than ever. Packaging complex features for new data science models can now occur within hours or days, compared to the weeks it had taken before partnering with Snowflake. “Everything we do is about understanding our customers better in order to deliver the best possible shopping experience,” says JP Knab, senior vice president of marketing, Overstock. “Data has always been the frontier in e-commerce and we need to be able move faster in leveraging data to deliver optimal customer experiences. Snowflake makes it so that activities that could previously require months of hardware and pipeline implementation now occur instantly by simply spinning up a new cluster.” “E-commerce companies sit on massive troves of data. The successful, customercentric businesses transform that data into meaningful and actionable insight to make informed business decisions,” Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia says. “Overstock has stockpiled nearly 20 years’ worth of data, demanding a modern data warehousing solution that enables its data science team to work quickly and uncover insights and trends across the data’s lifetime.” Snowflake snowflake.net
Provider of customisable platform-as-aservice for the automation of cloud services, Keenondots, have announced that it has been selected by Tele2 Group to automate the European delivery of cloud services to its business customers. The strategy of Tele2 Group in the business market is to become a full service provider for the digital workspace. Therefore Tele2 Group is extending its telecom portfolio with cloud workspace solutions and productivity solutions such as Microsoft Office 365. With Keenondots Cloud Automation Services, Tele2 is ready to deliver its cloud services in the market in a fast, efficient and scalable way. “We are very pleased with Keenondots, being a quick and flexible partner, enabling cost efficiency for Tele2 offered by the automated Keenondots ‘platformas-a-service” says Hanna Paepke, head of core business, product management for Tele2 Group. Edwin Hageman, CEO Keenondots group, says, “We are very proud to welcome Tele2 Group as our par tner. We empower Tele2 with an affordable and scalable cloud distribution engine and therefore leverage the growing demand for digital workspace solutions. With a future proof plat form based on Odin/Ingram Micro technology, which we deliver as a ser vice, we enable them to drive cloud adoption and as a result accelerate business transformation of our customers.” Joacim Damgard, CEO Microsoft Sweden, adds, “We are happy with the Cloud Automation Services of the Keenondots platform that enables Microsoft partners such as Tele2 with the cloud adoption of Office365, Azure and other cloud services. These types of automation platforms and partnerships across the industry assists us in creating new possibilities to digitally transform their business” Keenondots keenondots.com
December 2017 | 13
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
Keeping up with Ever Evolving Networks NCN catches up with Mohit Lad, CEO of network intelligence software specialist ThousandEyes, who says that trying to understand network infrastructure without any application context is meaningless.
usinesses rely heavily on the internet, the same internet… Putting this into perspective, the internet is currently used by 3.7 million people and 20 billion devices. So, just how important is it for organisations to monitor and understand not only their networks, but the internet and its environment? Mohit Lad, CEO at ThousandEyes ascertains that in our ever-connected world, reliability on the internet has skyrocketed – and it will only continue to do so. With this widespread adoption, particularly for organisations who rely on ecommerce, comes uncertainty, unforeseeable challenges and requirements for dedicated engineering teams to troubleshoot
14 | December 2017
network issues. This is where the importance of Network Intelligence (NI) software comes in.
What is NI and NI software? NI is the capacity of a network to examine data packets continuously and in real time. The NI process differs from traditional monitoring by installing lightweight agents across the internet to provide next-level visibility of end-to-end network health. NI software, such as ThousandEyes, enables organisations to visualise, understand and troubleshoot issues across their own networks. In our growing internet-centric environment, complexity issues are an inevitability. Yet, instead of being reactive in these situations NI
software enables a dedicated IT team to be proactive, pin-pointing where and what the issues are and sometimes even preventing them before they arise.
The Cloud Era Arguably pushed by the rise of Digital Transformation (DX), this year the UK reached a cloud adoption of an astounding 88%. While boasting an array of benefits including; the elimination of capital expenses through buying hardware and software, reliability of back-up data and disaster recovery, and reduced network latency – cloud adoption increases the need for complete network visibility and insights. “As more organisations in the UK and Europe adopt cloud, the lack of
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK The Three Primary problems Recognising the issues with networks early on in his career, Mohit accentuated the three primary problems with cloud adoption and the blurring of network environments. N either party (being enterprises, data centres and SaaS providers) see an entire network. T here is a disconnect between application and network per formance. T here is a heavy reliance on parties outside the organisation to fix problems as there is little transparency – which can, above other factors, be very time consuming. visibility into networks outside their own environment and the difficulty in ensuring a great user experience remains a monumental challenge” Mohit acknowledged. With a more complex environment (as a result of cloud adoption), how exactly can organisations benefit from NI? Today is very much immersed in a consumerist society and it has become commonplace that both consumers and businesses are driven by the desire to have ‘everything at the touch of a button’. Our expectations have recently hit an all-time high, with recent research studies showing that a seemingly insignificant delay of four to six seconds tends to result in users abandoning browsing sessions and moving onto another viable option. This revelation shows one thing, Network Intelligence is now more critical than ever.
Blaming the Network Mohit identified that society has become so accustomed to the speed and convenience associated with the on-demand economy, that, when it fails, we tend to blame the network. Have you ever experienced a network fault and instantaneously blamed the network? Maybe a site wouldn’t load or a certain region couldn’t connect to a certain part of a website.
As enterprises increasingly relinquish control ownership of infrastructure and applications, the risk margin increases – meaning, if something goes wrong finding root-cause can take a lot of man hours, and sometimes, it isn’t even to do with an internal network. “It’s like throwing a light into a big black box or finding a needle in a haystack” Mohit added. NI software, such as ThousandEyes, identifies there’s a lot riding on the internet and provides businesses with fundamental tools to mitigate such issues arising.
The New ‘Back-bone’ The internet is not only changing the way consumers interact with each other, but also dramatically changing the lives of enterprises, particularly when focusing on innovations such as Cloud and SaaS. Mohit frequently refers to the internet as a new back-bone, for both enterprises and consumers, reiterating that one of his sole reasons for founding ThousandEyes was to educate business on what the network really is and to ensure they understand how and why it works.
“The next five years we are expecting 50 billion connected devices, 5 billion connected humans and one internet.”
Going into more detail, applications such as Office 365 and Salesforce all operate on external networks and without understanding how they work an enterprise is not able to have a view on what is effecting the user experience. Mohit says, “NI Software simplifies this so that clients can get a sense of this and, not only survive, but, thrive in a connected world. The importance of the internet is only going to increase in the next five years, we are expecting 50 billion connected devices, 5 billion connected humans and one internet – and this is the reason why it is so important that organisations see and manage this complex environment.” With digital now permeating every part of a business, many argue that it cannot be siloed – meaning the internet, and indeed the cloud, are here to stay. Thus, the very prevalent requirement for organisations not only to understand their networks, but external ones too. ThousandEyes thousandeyes.com
December 2017 | 15
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
Should we still care about cables? Indi Sall, technical director of NG Bailey IT Services Division, a leading independent engineering, IT and facilities services business, asks if the day of the wired network is numbered.
ompared to a few years ago, plugging things in has started to feel like a major hassle. In the home environment the wireless smart hub has become the centre of the digital home, connecting smart TVs, wireless speakers, wireless printers, lighting, power and heating controls, and providing a platform for voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa. This wireless environment is also becoming increasingly visible in the corporate world with networks now supporting all of the above
16 | December 2017
in addition to applications such as united communications and wireless conferencing solutions Etc. Wireless networks have had such a positive impact on the user’s digital experience that it is now impossible to imagine life without them. Does this mean that the time has come to abandon wires altogether ? I n te r m s of t h ro u g h p u t s p e e d a n d co nt i n u i t y – t wo of t h e p i l l a r s b y w h i c h to d a y ’ s co r p o rate n et wo r k s a re j u d ge d – t h e a n s we r s h o u l d b e a p l a i n ‘ n o ’ . H e re , t h e w i re d wo r l d s t i l l re i g n s s u p re m e . W h e n
co n s i d e r i n g f l ex i b i l i t y , h oweve r, c a b l e s d o n ’ t j u s t fa l te r, t h e y fa l l b y t h e wa y s i d e co m p l ete l y . H ave y o u eve r s e e n a n y o n e p l u g a c a b l e i nto t h e i r s m a r t p h o n e s o t h e y co u l d get fa s te r i nte r n et ? M e e i t h e r. The proliferation of the internet of Things (IoT) has led to an increase in network connected devices. As sensors gradually appear in everything, from the clothes we wear to the chairs we sit on, our already-substantial reliance on wireless data is about to spike. Then there really is no going back.
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK Couple IoT with today’s increasing business appetites for cloud services and workforce mobility, then combine it with end-users’ insatiable consumption of streamed and social media, and it’s easy to see the growth in wireless connectivity and the need for investment in the latest wireless technologies in order to cope with demand. Over the next three years, these forces will drive a huge upswing in demand for technologies that can optimise wireless infrastructure performance. Many owners of tenanted and high-occupancy buildings, in particular, are having to completely rethink their entire approach to ensure their estate offers state of the art digital connectivity. Not only must building owners consider Wi-Fi technologies but they must also consider optimising the macro GSM network to ensure excellent 4G cellular coverage. Distributed antenna systems (DAS), which boost 3G and 4G network signals inside a property, are starting to gain serious traction. By enabling greater in-building availability of mobile operator services, DAS signal boosters can offset the ‘blocking effect’ that many buildings’ physical structure has on GSM signal coverage, overcoming the common ‘poor mobile signal’ problem that many occupants of large buildings experience. Wi-Fi is also evolving. Increasingly good quality Wi-Fi is being seen as a utility service within public buildings such as universities, hospitals, shopping centres, hotels, transport estates and town centres. Smart public Wi-Fi systems, like the SSE Arena in Belfast, not only transmit zone by zone high-density Wi-Fi signals that enable entire crowds to connect with 50Mbps plus speeds, but they also offer patrons
a personalised experience with “As the the ability to digitally purchase wireless radio merchandise, targeted advertising spectrum and way finding or location services. Services like these, are becomes enabling physical venues and increasingly stores to compete with the online shopping experiences offered by crowded, new the likes of Google and Amazon. technologies such as Li-Fi will enable new Crowded networks As the wireless radio spectrum forms of data becomes increasingly crowded, connectivity new technologies such as Li-Fi using LED light will enable new forms of data connectivity using LED light rather rather than than radio waves, offering the radio waves.” potential to support even faster
Wireless might grab the headlines, but often its wired that is doing the real work
data speeds and capacity to support the huge expansion in the number of IoT devices, whilst providing energy efficient lighting at the same time. Wireless gets all the attention, and with all these dazzling advances, should we still care about cables? As end-users, probably not. As guardians of the large buildings and shared spaces in tomorrow’s smart cities, however, the definitive answer has to be ‘yes’. This is because behind every headline-grabbing wireless solution is an unseen and indispensable structured cable network. These cables might pick up wireless data from miles away (with operator 3G or 4G services, for example). They might also take your data from right beneath your feet or a few inches above your head. Either way, it takes a tremendous amount of hard cabling to backhaul today’s wireless data – something that isn’t going to change any time soon.
This is something that we must not forget. As the networks in our buildings undergo their inevitable digital upgrade, it will pay to remember that not every cabling solution is made equal. The quality of the back-end design will determine whether future wireless technologies can be integrated and how easily they can be supported. This is why the role of specialist systems integrators is so fundamental to the future success of our smart buildings. No one has the budget, let alone the desire, to rip and replace a brand-new system and, in the absence of global standards for structured cabling design, finding the right partner to architect as well as implement the network is crucial. The impact of getting the design wrong would be felt for years to come. As everyday end-users of wireless technologies we can expect the gradual separation from the cabled world to continue. As this happens, however, maintaining an appreciation for the vital role that cabling plays in enabling today’s slick user experience couldn’t be more important. Although the number of traditional data points will fall, with a huge expansion in connected devices, the infrastructure within modern digital buildings will need to be based on the latest cable standards supporting 10GB over copper and 100Gb over fibre. Now is the time when the back-end is being overhauled and it is this work that will truly make or break the future of our digital world. NG Bailey, 0207 843 0200 ngbailey.com
December 2017 | 17
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
To 5G infinity and beyond Could this be the biggest development in connectivity yet? Jonathan Freeman of Telecoms & M2M explores the steps industries will need to take in 2018 to ensure its success.
ith more than 52 million active subscriptions and 89% geographic coverage in towns and cities across the UK, the industry has achieved a lot with its rollout of 4G over the past year, but there’s no time to stand still. Across the wider telecoms sector, work is underway behind the scenes to ensure the next big steps happen as smoothly and quickly as possible. 5G is well and truly on the horizon, and it promises to be the biggest development in connectivity yet. But what steps does the industry have to take in 2018 and beyond to make it a success?
18 | December 2017
Big things are happening Each step between the first generation of mobile connectivity and where we are today – 4G – has brought its own significant changes. However, the revolution we expect from 5G is unprecedented. Our own trial this year has already demonstrated data speeds in excess of 1Gbps, along with sub 5ms latency. This, amongst other use cases, will allow huge improvements in Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connectivity, creating massive opportunities for businesses as well as consumers. Realising 5G’s potential will take a lot of work. The improvements needed in infrastructure, technology and even bureaucracy really are relative to the
transformation we’re preparing to make. Below are some of the biggest considerations for the coming years.
More infrastructure With speeds and data consumption both poised to rise dramatically, we need to expand and update our infrastructure to cope for the future. Flexibility will also be key. Rather than rely only on large roadside towers, colossal demand across busy cities and suburban areas will require the installation of hundreds of thousands of outdoor small cells. Deploying these at street level will necessitate investment and collaboration
THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK New commercial models
throughout the sector, involving ourselves, asset owners and mobile network operators. Where 2017 has seen initial small cell deployment and confirmation of the deployment and operational model, 2018 will be all about scale.
Massive MIMO deployment T he t ran s itio n to 5G wil l re qu ire more t h a n j us t a n increa s e in asset n umbers – the ind u s t r y ne e ds to l o o k clo s el y at h ow i t s i nfra s tructure o perate s and how it wil l s uppor t t h e new technolo gy in o rder to provi de the relia bl e, s up e r fa s t connectivity cus to mer s ex p e ct . We are already seeing ‘Standard MIMO’ in its various derivatives being deployed to deliver wireless services and this trend will accelerate as we head through 4G evolution in 2018 and into 5G beyond this. However, ‘Massive MIMO’ – or multiple-input/multiple output, where hundreds or thousands of antennas and terminals are used to achieve even greater efficiency and throughput, will be a key enabler of an enhanced data experience. It will be a big consideration in the next stage of 4G and 5G network evolution and deployment, and will have major consequences for passive infrastructure such as existing tower and rooftop locations.
“The industry has achieved a lot with its roll-out of 4G over the past year, but there’s no time to stand still.”
Realising how close to the horizon 5G really is, Jonathan Freeman of Telecoms & M2M says that when it becomes actuality the revolution will be unprecedented.
With such seismic change expected from 5G, providers will need to reassess how they manage, sell and deliver their services. Network slicing will provide the opportunity to offer services with very different features to user groups with unique needs all via a common set of infrastructure. An example ser vice may be 5G FWA, which can provide a greatly enhanced ser vice compared to todays fixed home broadband technologies and complement future fibre to the premise deployments. Such a ser vice could result in new market entrants as well as providing an alternative approach for established players via changing the time to market dynamic for ultrafast broadband and allowing commercial, model innovation. We expect UK broadband providers to under take trials and network planning in 2018, mirroring the activity under taken by Verizon and others in the USA during 2017. Dark fibre comes into this too. Dark fibre is a critical component of 4G evolution and will have an even greater importance in 5G network deployment. Denser networks with greater coordination will be needed to support the huge growth in mobile data, increased M2M activity and launch of new services. For 5G to thrive, dark
fibre will need to be available to the mobile industry from a range of players at competitive prices.
Too much red tape? The Government has shown that it understands, and is willing to help with, the practical issues facing operators in rolling out mobile. Not only has it taken major steps in removing some of the planning restrictions for small cells, it has also set up a broadband barrier removal team to look at all of the practical challenges in a systematic way. To unlock the potential of 5G, this team will need to look at issues relating to permits, business rates and further changes to planning. As mentioned already, outdoor small cell technology will be crucial to realising 5G’s potential, and practical changes will be needed to enable the industry to deliver it. Spectrum is another major consideration. Ofcom has worked with its continental counterparts to determine the three bands that they believe will be initially important to enable 5G in Europe: 700 MHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz, and 24.2527.5 GHz. However, customers will need more if we’re looking at the evolution of 5G throughout the 2020s. Success here may lie in high-frequency millimetre-wave spectrum – i.e. bands around and above 30GHz, including the 28GHz utilised for Arqiva’s FWA trial with Samsung – especially in highdemand areas like major cities.
A bright but busy future 5G might be on the near horizon but there’s still a lot of work to do over the next couple of years to ensure its success. It’s important to remember that 2020 – cited by so many as the estimated arrival date – isn’t the pinnacle of this new connectivity era, but rather just the start. The technologies we’re trialing and implementing now will cer tainly get things off to a flying star t, but like 4G before it, 5G will continue evolving long into the future – much to the benefit of consumers and businesses across the UK. More information: Telecoms & M2M telecoms.com
December 2017 | 19
In the best of health Nuffield Health has deployed a UK-wide SD-WAN system courtesy of Silver Peak. The not-for-profit healthcare provider has embraced a cloud-first IT strategy which has seen deployment across nearly 200 sites in just four months. The result has been reduced WAN traffic by up to 75% and a 4-6x increase in bandwidth. NCN takes a look at the details.
ilver Peak, provider of broadband and hybrid WAN solutions, has announced that one of the UK’s leading not-for-profit healthcare organisations, Nuffield Health, has deployed Silver Peak
20 | December 2017
Unity EdgeConnect softwaredefined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution as par t of its cloud-first IT strategy. As a widely distributed organisation, with two data centres and around 20,000 users across more than 260 sites
throughout the UK – including 31 hospitals, 111 fitness and wellbeing gyms, and 121 corporate fitness and wellbeing centres – Nuffield Health was finding that its legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) WAN was strug gling to connect its users to business
PROJECT FOCUS Deployment of the SD-WAN has had significant impact of efficiency
critic a l c l o u d - b a s e d a p p l ic at io ns . They inc l u d e S of t wa re - a s - a Ser v ic e (S a a S ) a p p l ic at io ns s uch a s Tra k C a re fo r E l e ct ro nic M edic a l Re co rd s a nd O f f ic e 365, a s we l l a s Inf ra s t r u ct u re - a s - a Ser v ic e (Ia a S ) a p p l ic at io ns s u c h a s Mic ro s of t A z u re . Following a review of its WAN usage, Nuffield Health found that more than 60% of its WAN traffic was being backhauled through its two data centres to the internet, which was significantly impairing network and SaaS performance. As such, Nuffield Health turned to Silver Peak through its partner Ampito, provider of technology solutions, to design a WAN edge architecture that would intelligently and securely route WAN traffic over the internet-based on application-driven policies, without compromising performance. Having considered other vendors, Nuffield Health selected Silver Peak’s solution for its high performance and cost, as well as its ability to support seamless service chaining with zScaler and Palo Alto Networks firewalls for intelligent internet breakout, which
“The result has been reduced WAN traffic by up to 75% and a 4-6x increase in bandwidth.”
will improve SaaS application performance, while keeping its branches secure. “As a not-for-profit healthcare organisation with sites located across the UK, our staff rely heavily on data-critical applications to care for patients and to meet the needs of our customers,” says Dan Morgan, IT operations director at Nuffield Health. “Whether it’s accessing digital images on the operating table, or using the latest high-tech gym equipment, it was clear that our existing network infrastructure wasn’t up to scratch. As such, we required a reliable WAN solution that would improve network performance and securely support our cloud-first IT strategy.” As a result of the Silver Peak deployment, Nuffield Health is now able to run dual internet links to its branches, with some sites able to run on 4G LTE for connectivity until its fibre internet service is delivered. In addition, the organisation further benefitted from Unity Orchestrator – included with Unity EdgeConnect – and zerotouch provisioning, which enabled a faster SD-WAN deployment. Indeed, the company installed SD-WAN at 189 sites in just four months. On average, it connected 15 sites per week, which peaked at 27 sites in one week. Nuffield Health also deployed Unity Boost,
an optional performance pack that can be used for specific sites if application per formance degrades. “We have been really impressed with the positive impact on our network, but the speed of deployment was a massive bonus,” continues Dan. “We also have complete visibility and complete control into our network, meaning that we can see how SaaS and IaaS is being used within the organisation. This level of cloud intelligence is critical to our organisation as we continue to embrace new healthcare technologies available in the market. This will only serve to improve the health of our patients and customers across the UK.” Chris Helfer, senior vice president of worldwide sales, Silver Peak, adds, “We are delighted that Nuffield Health is benefitting from a reliable network for such a large and geographically distributed organisation, and that its proven so successful. “Applications continue to move to the cloud and Nuffield Health is a classic example of how organisations are taking advantage of our cloud-first SD-WAN solution to build a new, more cost-effective and highperformance WAN edge.” Silver Peak 0800 0969 372 silver-peak.com Ampito 0870 352 1001, ampito.com
Image courtesy of Simons Group
The company’s large number of sites was a real challenge, but the system is delivering real benefits
December 2017 | 21
NAVISITE CHANNEL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME
Make friends with Navisite David Penny, regional channel sales director at Navisite, worldwide provider of enterprise-class, cloud enabled hosting, managed applications and services, explains how the company’s Channel Partnership Programme works.
nterprises have embraced the cloud to lower capital outlays and ongoing IT operational costs and add agility. Navisite’s cloud and hosted solutions can deliver the essential speed and flexibility that drives competitive advantages, especially in rapidly changing industries like financial services, healthcare and education. Through our Partner Programme, we work closely with partners to extend the market reach for our industry-leading portfolio of enterprise-class, cloud-enabled services.
Types of reseller partner Navisite has two primary types of partners: referrals and resellers. The referral partner is responsible for redirecting business towards Navisite, most suitable for those without a value service add. Unlike a value-added reseller, the referral partner programme is open to any kind of business. It can also encompass larger companies such as CDW, who might recognise that a project is outside their scope or too big/small. In return, they would take a commission payment for referring that business to us. Value-added resellers (VARs) are the companies that take Navisite products and sell them to end users, usually packaged alongside other products to create a complete technological solution. In these circumstances, it is the VAR that takes on the contractual relationship with the end user, rather than Navisite. As a result, the VAR takes on the responsibility of providing direct customer support to the end user organisation.
22 | December 2017
Onboarding reseller partners
“Navisite support partners every step of the way from the initial customer opportunity to closing the deal.”
Navisite support partners every step of the way, from the initial customer opportunity to closing the deal, employing a versatile set of tools designed to simplify selling and management. The Navisite channel team assists the process, with sales tools via the Sales One Source desktop and mobile app, monthly education webinars, PR assistance, EBC/ Data Centre tours and events. A Partner Opportunity Registration Form (PORF) acts as a mechanism to register the opportunity for their commission payments and is also very good practice for our reseller partners to minimise the chances of conflict with other partners or sales channels. Partner tools like Navisite O365 Productivity Suite Sales Toolkit and Press Release Template Guidelines are also provided, along with solution briefs on the full range of Navisite products.
Choosing our reseller partners What separates Navisite from other managed cloud service providers is we choose not to cater to thousands of partners. Instead, we prefer to focus on tens of partners, which affords us the time to build stronger relationships with credible enterprises. Another consideration is potential overlap, as we don’t want partners competing against each other – as such, we’ll consider the niche of each partner and how that can fit within a wider framework. For example, SRD Technology only do DaaS with Navisite, and are our ValueAdded Reseller in this space.
We’re also small enough as an enterprise to have personal contact with every partner, handled by the channel engagement team who work in tandem with marketing executives, salespersons and solutions architects. We share best practices and ensure new partners are brought up to speed, as part an effective partner management strategy.
The qualities to qualify For a company to qualify as a reseller, they must sign a contract stating they will handle the support for potential customers. They must also pull in a minimum amount of business for Navisite, for the partnership to remain viable and successful. The referral programme is open to everybody, quickly gaining popularity for its ‘as-a-service’ model.
What Navisite looks for in a partner, in relation to Microsoft Azure In regard to finding referral partners in the Azure space, Navisite is open to all types of organisations. It should be noted, they can only resell the Navisite parts of it (e.g. the management of the Azure cloud, but they then would not be reselling the Microsoft licenses). We expect to soon have 135 Azure trained engineers, so would specifically be looking to expand our services in this area. If an enterprise had an opportunity for managed Azure service, Navisite could definitely make that happen. Whether they be referral or reseller, they can better capture that opportunity. Navisite 0800 6122 933, navisite.co.uk
THE EUROPEAN DESTINATION FOR THE GLOBAL AV INDUSTRY Building the Intelligent Homes and Cities of the Future Experience Smart Building technology and solutions at ISE 2018
Weathering the storm In the industrial sector, threats come in all shapes and sizes. John Farebrother, regional manager, UK & Ireland, Stormshield, puts NCN in the picture.
ecurity, in relation to IP network perimeters, is a hot topic. Advancements in BYOD, the IoT, cloud computing and mobile technology have brought untold improvements in connectivity allowing companies, their employees and their partners to access vital data, often from the corporate network, to wherever they happen to be located. But for security and network managers, the picture is very different. Where once the network inside the company was inherently safe and all IP networks outside were considered potentially
24 | December 2017
dangerous, now they fear not only the enemy outside, but the enemy within in equal measure. The impenetrable perimeter fence no longer exists in the way it once did. However, this is not the only development that network and security professionals are concerned about. A larger and potentially more far-reaching change relates to the growing intersections between IT networks and operational technology (OT). In industrial companies, for example, systems are increasingly becoming automated and connected and inevitably more reliant on the internet.
Different priorities This brings with it a level of risk and exposure to cyberattacks that manufacturers and engineers have not previously worried about. Over the last two years, we have been working closely with Schneider Electric in a joint effort to respond to these industrial security issues, joining forces to combine our knowledge of network, workstation and server protection with Schneider Electricâ€™s understanding of operational technology systems. In industrial organisations, the focus is on availability. Production must continue at all costs and it must be safe because engines,
Industroyer is a new virus created to attach industry specifically
motors and processors carry a physical risk to operators. IT, in this scenario is less worried about availability, but a computer network security breach however, could wipe out essential data and has the potential to let hackers gain access to control systems. What we jointly found was that manufacturing and engineering companies didn’t always have a good overview of where, or if, their production processes were connected to the internet. In a recent post from a chemical engineer, he describes how a problem arose in his control room because the internet connected coffee machine, instead of being solely connected to an isolated Wi-Fi connection, had inadvertently been connected to the internal control room network. We believe the attack they experienced was related to WannaCry ransomware, which was also responsible for infecting millions of devices worldwide running on Windows XP.
Traditionally, engineering organisations have used technology that is bespoke, rarely standard, highly complex, and often unique. Very difficult, therefore, for anything other than highly specialised industrial attacks to do any damage. Enter Industroyer. This is a new virus which is about to challenge the status quo. According to reports Industroyer has enough deadly capacity to seriously compromise industrial control systems. It is very customisable, it can speak different industrial languages and looks very much as though it has been designed for highly targeted attacks. Disruption of vital infrastructure services, such as power supplies, is the most likely aim. This is a very real threat for industry. Ukraine suffered cyberattacks that resulted in power blackouts during the winters of 2015 and 2016, both of which left 700,000 homes without power or water. Closer to home, GCHQ earlier this year warned that there had been a series of cyberattacks targeting the UK’s national infrastructure, and in some cases critical systems. A news story in The Times reported that the cyberattack pinpointed engineers at Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board with emails designed to download malicious software that would enable it to access control systems. Clearly, industrial operational systems are not safe from attack and par ticularly when they are connected to vulnerable IT networks. Industry 4.0 recognises the emergence of interconnected smar t factories, so organisations that are working towards its principles, will understand that they must find a balance between ensuring production availability and arming themselves against cyberattacks.
Learning a new language
“Standard firewalls and security software are no longer enough to protect networks, particularly in industrial environments.”
Industroyer is able to interrupt power supplies
Our project with Schneider Electric has illustrated the communications gap between engineers and IT teams. They are literally speaking a different language. The sooner this changes the sooner IT and OT systems can be modified to ensure they are fit to withstand the increasing threat of a cyberattack. As industrial technology becomes more automated, and industrial organisations increasingly adopt cloud computing and expect to work in real-time across networks, the more urgent it is to agree a common approach and strategy. Standard firewalls and security software are no longer enough to protect networks, particularly in industrial environments. As well as working harmoniously alongside industrial hardware, next-generation firewall solutions need to be built to adapt to the industry prerequisite such as DIN rail mounts. Ideally, such solutions would be ‘hardened’ and ‘ruggedised’ according to key criteria including temperature, dust and humidity. In order to provide the same level of security, the firmware would be the same as other firewalls, but include specific industrial protocols. And, in addition, they would be sensitive to the need for safety. Ordinarily, in an IT setting, if a firewall crashes, the network stops functioning. In an industrial setting, however, safety modes enable a packet to go through regardless of whether there is power, because for OT systems as I have said, availability and safety are the priorities and the factory has to be stopped in a safe position. To make this work, both IT and OT functions must compromise and collaborate to combat the dangers, whether that is the danger of a cyberattack, or the danger to staff. The objective is to find enough common ground so that consideration is given to safety, availability and security, because threats come in all shapes and sizes. Stormshield 01784 898 015, stormshield.com
December 2017 | 25
NiceHash hacked Just over $67m in Bitcoin has been taken by hackers from the cryptocurrency mining market
iceHash, one of the world’s most impor tant cryptocurrency mining marketplaces, has announced that hackers have breached its payment system and emptied the whole contents of its Bitcoin wallet. After the breach was discovered, the company announced an immediate close down for 24 hours to begin investigating the incident. The official statement from Wednesday December 6 reads, “Our payment system was compromised, and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken. Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to under taking our own investigation, the incident has been repor ted to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.” The company itself did not specify how much had been taken, but estimates based on a BTC address shared by a NiceHash
26 | December 2017
NiceHash has become the latest victim to hackers, emptying what is suspected to be the entirety of its wallet…
user on Reddit suggests that a sum of 4,736 BTC ($67m or £50m at current rates) has disappeared. The company’s official statement added, “We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the ser vice. “We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and are committing every resource towards solving this issue as soon as possible.” The company is also advising users to change their online passwords as a precaution. The service allows customers to offer their extra computer processing power for the calculations required to create or ‘mine’ fresh Bitcoin or other digital currencies. The same relationship allows NiceHash users to purchase computer processing power from other users. NiceHash users normally mine altcoins in exchange for their value in Bitcoin. NiceHash issued two tweets on Wednesday, December 6 informing customers that its servers were offline for ‘maintenance’ and its team was
working on a fix. However, the company later said its servers had been breached. As cryptocurrency continues to grow exponentially, issues such as this are likely to become more common and problematic. Bithumb, CoinDash, Veritaseum and Parity Technologies have already suffered significant losses. Commenting on the news, Jon Geater, CTO, Thales eSecurity, said, “Thefts of this scale highlight why the devil is in the detail with cryptocurrencies. While bitcoin and blockchain change the rules of transactional security they are not magic - there’s always devils in the detail and it’s still important to handle security in the networks. “A hack of this scale makes it painstakingly clear that bitcoin security is far from perfect. Although the protocol and the system are theoretically very robust, over £600m worth of bitcoin has either been lost or stolen since the creation of the cryptocurrency.” Jon adds, “Many of these losses have emerged from weak security practices, including poor management and protection of the cryptographic keys that quite literally translate to cash. While we don’t yet know exactly what happened with NiceHash, it’s quite likely that this is again what has happened. “The standard mantra that bitcoin is inherently secure only extends to the transaction network itself, but the problems of security management have not gone away, they’ve just been pushed further out to the edges.”
Fibre optic and copper cabling
Enclosures, cabinets and racks
Next timeâ€Ś In addition to its regular range of features and news items, the December issue of Network Communications News will contain special features will be on fibre optic and copper cabling and enclosures, cabinets and racks. They will comprise major articles and comprehensive product round ups which will be used as a reference point by network cabling infrastructure installers, integrators and end users. To make sure you donâ€™t miss the oppor tunity to adver tise your products to this exclusive readership, call Kelly on 01634 673163 or email email@example.com
Network Communications News
December 2017 | 27
CLOUD COMPUTING & VIRTUALISATION
What issues face the health sector when moving to the cloud?
The health of the network Darren Turner, general manager at Carelink, specialist in managed server platforms into the healthcare sector, discusses the drivers for cloud in healthcare, why the sector has been slow to migrate to date and how the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) could be a catalyst for driving adoption as multi-agency collaboration develops. Darren also highlights that clouds come in different shapes and sizes and that one size doesn’t fit all.
he Governm e nt ’ s C l o u d Firs t po l icy s tate s that when p ro c u r ing new o r exis t ing s er vices , pub l ic s e cto r organi sation s s ho uld co ns id e r and fu lly eva luate pote nt ia l c l o u d solu t i on s before con s ide r ing ot her option s . We kn ow t h at t h e d r i ver for this is mo re ef f ic ie nt u se of computing res o u rc e s , t hrou gh hig her utilis atio n a nd flex i ble provis io ning . An d , ali gnment with this polic y a nd t he perceived cos t s av ings associ ated with cl o ud a re t h e pr i mar y motivators fo r p u b l ic se ctor orga nis ation s to a d o pt t h e te c hnolo gy. This is pa r t ic u l a r l y t r u e i n the hea lthca re s e cto r. With an estimated funding gap of £30Bn expected by 2020, there is immense pressure on the NHS to increase efficiency while simultaneously cutting costs.
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But how much could cloud migration save? Figures of 35% cost savings are quoted, based on a comparison between on-premise, selfmanaged, platform with a public cloud platform with outsourced management. But further examination shows that the bulk of the savings are associated with outsourcing the management – a compelling argument for a managed service platform but not necessarily the best measure of cloud versus on-premise solutions. While it’s difficult to quantify savings without comparing like for like, if we consider hardware resilience, resource scalability and the removal of the need for life cycle management, along with the wider benefit of higher, more efficient resource utilisation, the benefits of cloud become clearer.
But, most importantly, investment in virtual technologies is not just about saving money or boosting technical performance in a healthcare setting. The end goal of all digital initiatives in the NHS should be about delivering improved quality of service and better patient outcomes by accelerating the way the sector uses, stores and shares information.
Healthcare still in the clouds Most recent figures available from G-Cloud (up to December 2016) suggest that less than a quarter of technology spend in healthcare was cloud related. So why has healthcare has been slower than many other sectors to embrace and migrate to cloud? This is partly due to perceived security risks, particularly when it comes to public cloud providers,
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CLOUD COMPUTING & VIRTUALISATION and complexity and constraints around location and sharing of Patient Identifiable Data (PID). I also think there is a lack of trust in cloud performance and resilience, as well as concerns around physical location of hardware. Added to this, there is a shortage of the right skills, willingness to embrace the necessary cultural shift and the budget to cover the cost of migration. However, what we’re finding when it comes to trust is that comfort levels increase with the amount of information that is available about the platform. Because these details tend to be more readily available when we’re talking about private and specialist cloud solutions versus public cloud, healthcare providers are more willing to explore these options.
Clouds come in different shapes and sizes When we think cloud we tend to think about hyper-scale public cloud providers – indeed, the Cloud First policy is primarily directed at these suppliers. But it’s important to remember that clouds come in different shapes and sizes and one size doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to the varying needs and requirements of health and social care organisations. In addition to public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure there are private clouds, with dedicated physical server hosting in UK data centres, as well as specialist cloud platforms powered by the likes of UKCloud. Specialist cloud providers combine some of the benefits of hyperscale public cloud providers with the advantage of delivering secure, government assured infrastructure.
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Should we really be thinking Cloud First?
“HSCN could be the catalyst for driving cloud adoption as multi-agency collaboration develops. ”
Perhaps it’s the Cloud First diktat that presents the biggest hurdle. Despite these obligations, I’d argue that healthcare providers shouldn’t start from the basis that everything must go in the cloud or that public cloud is the only option. Instead, they should work with a trusted and technology agnostic supplier to identify the best solution or combination for their organisation’s specific needs. At Carelink, we advocate Cloud First only where appropriate. I certainly wouldn’t encourage healthcare providers to simply push everything onto the public cloud without first assessing and critiquing the various options. We know that most healthcare providers don’t want to go 100% cloud and that, in many cases, they are cautious or hesitant about cloud. There is still a strong desire to physically see where data is held and there will always be a need for more assured solutions, in terms of security and performance. Cost and pressure to meet policy requirements will continue to drive adoption of virtual technologies, but I don’t foresee a day when everything is running on public cloud even in the longer term.
What’s the best approach?
The Health sector can present a really wise range of different needs
While there are no hard and fast rules, we find a common approach amongst healthcare providers is to keep sensitive data or PID on our CCSP or a private cloud in our UK data centre or with UKCloud. Anything else can go on the public cloud. Many healthcare providers favour a hybrid architecture, where hardware servers hosting legacy or resource hungry applications are mixed with virtual machines running less intensive services on the cloud. With a hybrid approach, organisations can realise the efficiencies of virtualisation, through increased utilisation of compute resources, while being able to more closely control the availability of those resources across the estate. For larger estates, particularly those with high storage volumes, the cost of a private cloud platform can compare favourably to the cost of a hyper-scale
public cloud. Healthcare providers should, therefore, work with their network and infrastructure supplier to explore this cost comparison to ensure they get the best value for their money. Whether opting for private or public cloud, multi-cloud or a hybrid solution, when it comes to entrusting a supplier with an incredibly valuable and irreplaceable asset – data – healthcare providers need to be sure it’s secure. Buyers should seek accredited suppliers with a proven track record in providing secure solutions and protecting mission critical environments, ideally in a healthcare environment.
Cloud supporting joined up health and social care With the roll out of the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), the data network for health and social organisations that replaces N3, cloud services are being made easier to provision. Health and social care organisations will increasingly be able to access a full range of HSCN compliant network connectivity and cloud services from one supplier, effectively a one stop shop, which simplifies the supplier and procurement environment. With assurance that HSCN obligations and standards have been met, this will likely drive greater adoption of cloud services in the sector. Ready access to HSCN compliant cloud services helps simplify the process and provides assurance for healthcare procurement. Indeed, we’re seeing the likes of UKCloud, as well as hyper-scale cloud providers, setting up healthcare divisions and actively seeking suppliers to deliver HSCN connectivity. Furthermore, HSCN could actually be the catalyst for driving cloud adoption as multi-agency collaboration develops. We can expect to see cloud services become an increasingly important feature in delivering more joinedup health and social care, enabling distinct organisations to operate together in a seamless way and in doing so, providing better care to the patients they serve. Carelink 01904 27 127 1 carelink.co.uk
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CLOUD COMPUTING & VIRTUALISATION
The wind is picking up! NCN takes a look under the hood of recent performance and platform up-dates from SolarWinds, provider of IT management software.
olarWinds says it has elevated simplicity in management of hybrid and multi-cloud environments across infrastructure, applications, and databases with fresh releases which advance cloud monitoring capabilities with deeper visibility for Azure, monitoring for Office 365, and subscription-based pricing for database performance analysis. In general the updates are designed to give IT professionals a new level of simplicity, visibility, and control in monitoring infrastructure, applications, and databases, particularly those in multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments. The updates also offer more robust email monitoring features, including support for Microsoft Office 365 deployments. The company announced the latest versions of its Server & Application Monitor (SAM) and Database Performance Analyzer
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(DPA) tools. The new offerings are designed to give IT professionals a simpler way to optimise system performance as they manage and troubleshoot on-premises and cloud environments. Built on the SolarWinds integrated Orion Platform, users gain ‘one-click’ access to system monitoring capabilities that can simultaneously support multiple cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. “ Hete ro ge n e i t y i s t h e n ew n o r m a l fo r t h e va st m a j o r i t y of I T o p e rat i o n s to d a y , w i t h sy ste m s a n d a p p l i c at i o n s sp a n n i n g mu l t i p l e c l o u d se r v i c e s, a s we l l a s o n - p re mi se s i nf ra st r u ct u re , ” sa y s C h r i sto p h P f i ste r, exe c u t i ve vice president and head of products, SolarWinds. “Operations teams need a single platform to reduce complexity, quickly recognise problems, optimise performance, and optimise
resource utilisation. Our latest system management releases provide important advancements in these critical capabilities with leading-edge simplicity.”
SAM I am The new release offers deeper cloud monitoring in SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor 6.5 (SAM). SAM was created to deliver end-to-end visibility, as well as server and application performance monitoring, using agent based and agentless technologies across multiple data centres, remote locations, and the cloud. The latest update, version 6.5, offers customers greater visibility across multi-cloud and h y b r i d e nv i ro n me nt s b y p rov i di n g i nf ra st r u ct u re met r i c s for V Ms a n d sto ra ge i n M i c ro sof t Azure. T h e u p d ate e n h a n c e s the level of v i si b i l i t y c u r re nt l y p rov i ded b y t h e sof t wa re v i a t h e agent, W MI , a n d S NM P.
CLOUD COMPUTING & VIRTUALISATION As a result, SAM 6.5 can help users monitor their entire server and application footprint across on-premises infrastructure, as well as AWS and Azure environments, through a simple and common process. It provides best practice monitoring templates that can support over 1,000 applications, including Microsoft Exchange, IIS, and SQL Server, Apache, Tomcat and MongoDB. The new version also includes monitoring templates for Microsoft Office 365, enabling IT professionals to monitor cloud based email and productivity applications as easily as onpremises deployments.
DPA gets smarter Developers and operations teams have been using Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) for years to identify and resolve bottlenecks and improve database performance in development, testing, and production environments. DPA supports the full range of databases, including MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and Azure SQL and AWS RDS Cloud. Its approach to response time monitoring and multi-dimensional performance analysis provides intelligence that enables users to optimise resource utilisation, deliver faster application performance, and lower costs, says the company. The latest update, version 11.1, offers customers broader purchase and deployment options
through availability ‘as a service’ in the AWS Marketplace on a payas-you-go model, with a price per instance/hour basis. In addition, DPA 11.1 integrates with the Per fStack per formance analysis dashboard in the SolarWinds Orion Plat form to provide visibility from web transaction to spindle per formance, across infrastructure and applications, including database wait-time metrics. DPA 11.1 now suppor ts the latest version of SQL Ser ver 2017, with improved Microsoft Availability Groups monitoring and enhanced security.
“Heterogeneity is the new normal for the vast majority of IT operations today, with systems and Email performance applications SolarWinds also announced a broader set of email monitoring spanning capabilities for on-premises, multiple cloud cloud, and hybrid environments. services, as The Office 365 monitoring functionality now available with well as onSAM 6.5 encompasses multiple premises templates that can implement infrastructure.” monitoring best practices,
SolarWind has introduced significant up-dates to its services
thereby providing visibility into key per formance metrics of the leading cloud based business email and collaboration plat form. Further, users can leverage SolarWinds’ market-leading Network Per formance Monitor(TM) (NPM) software to enable deep mail path monitoring. NPM includes NetPath(TM) critical path visualisation, which delivers ‘hop by hop’ visibility along the network path (including the public internet) between users and cloud services, such as Office 365 or OWA, or Exchange servers located either in the cloud or in remote sites. These power ful visualisation capabilities e m p owe r u se r s to u n ders tan d t h e se r v i c e q u a l i t y a n d p e r fo r m a n c e i mp a ct as s oci ated w i t h n et wo r k co n n e ct iv i ty. In addition, the company’s email monitoring capabilities include SolarWinds Exchange Monitor, a free tool available for download now, which provides essential health, capacity, and performance monitoring for Microsoft Exchange servers. More info on the release is available direct from SolarWinds. SolarWinds +353 21 5002900, solarwinds.com
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Modern working practices have transformed in recent years
Smart working Adrian Kimberley, regional manager at industrial automation software expert, COPA-DATA UK, explains why companies should take the smart approach in the workplace to increase efficieny and connectivity.
rom the crumbling walls of an 18th century mansion, to a living lab of interconnected technology, IBMs ‘21st century innovation in an 18th century house’ is an example of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Hursley House now uses smar t digital tracking to monitor the building’s physical and functional characteristics.
The term, ‘smart building’, is bandied about quite a lot. But what actually qualifies a building as smart? Ultimately, it comes down to having purposeful visualisation of data. It’s not about hoarding data, but rather having a clear reason to collect the data in the first place. People should always ask ‘why’ they need the data – and the reason is different for every business.
In the case of IBM’s work on Hursley House, office managers should take note of this stand out example. By connecting the buildings lighting and heating systems with the building’s meeting calendar meant empty rooms weren’t lit or heated unnecessarily. IBM also connected the local weather forecast data to the heating, for further insight into how much heating is required. To IBM, the ‘why’ is obvious – to save energy and money.
The office From smart plugs to automated computer shut down, the office space provides a vast opportunity for interconnectivity. You can even touch base with sensors in water meters, air conditioning and security systems. Again, a business will need a clear idea on why this data would be of any benefit to them.
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Perhaps it is to save money, improve security, or to reinforce a green agenda. It’s personal to the business and its objectives.
Serious circumstances However, the potential of a smart building can run much deeper. Wasting a small amount of energy by heating an empty room isn’t disastrous for a business, but there are some workplaces for which smart insight of the building is critical for safety, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry. For example, if the seal of bio-hazardous rooms containing bacteria and viruses becomes defective, people need to be alerted as soon as possible. Equally, monitoring room pressure and detecting gas leaks is vital for the health and safety of employees. Suddenly, the idea of a smart building becomes much more compelling than just using it for basic energy management.
Take it to the cloud Industrial automation software, like COPA-DATA’s zenon, can help businesses to visualise reams of data in one place, but the next step is to store and manage the ever-growing expanse of building data. Integrating cloud platforms, such as the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, allows a power ful interaction to take place. All users can access data relating to the work place remotely, whether that be on smart phones, tablets and smart watches, all from a single, cloud-based system.
Think big The future of smart technology in the workplace is not limited to the walls of the factory, office or laboratory. Instead, organisations will use this technology on a grand scale. When applied to multiple buildings and sites, smart technology will make real, significant changes and contribute to part of a larger smart city. One company that has already shown widespread success with a multi-site approach is Slovenian renewables producer, Gorenjske Elektrarne. The company has demonstrated remote monitoring and control for distributed renewable energy generation of 23 photovoltaic plants, 15 hydro power plants and three combined cycle plants all over the country, using zenon in combination with Azure cloud services. This company now benefits from remote user access on the zenon application via smartphones, and simple, rapid access to alarms, events, trends and reports wherever and whenever it is needed. The ‘why’ for Gorenjske Elektrarne is obvious – it’s all in the name of safety.
“From smart plugs to automated computer shut down, the office space provides a vast opportunity for interconnectivity.”
The why Whatever the ‘why’ may be for collecting and visualising data, whether its safety, as it was for Gorenjske Elektrarne, or energy efficiency, like the case of IBM’s 21st century innovation, connecting things that weren’t previously connected, creates a power ful web of intelligence that can benefit businesses, the environment and employees. COPA-DATA 029 2032 9175, copadata.com
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Up on the Mezzanine Mezzanine from Oblong Industries streamlines pre-construction workflows for Holder Construction.
uperior visual collaboration is maximising productivity at Holder Construction after the installation of Mezzanine from Oblong Industries, specialist in intelligent collaboration. Oblong Industriesâ€™ technologies are designed to change the way people work, create, and communicate. With roots in more than two decades of research at the MIT Media Lab, Oblongâ€™s flagship product Mezzanine is a visual collaboration solution that
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the company says defines the next era of computing delivering simultaneous multi-user, multiscreen, multi-device, multi-location immersive visual collaboration. Mezzanineâ€™s Infopresence capabilities are also created to multiply the effectiveness of distributed organisations and catalyse new, more effective, more collaborative workflows. One of its latest clients is Holder Construction, a leading contractor of large commercial projects based in the US in the city of Atlanta.
Holder has deployed the Mezzanine platform to connect team members together in multiple locations for seamless collaboration with content coming from multiple sources. D o u g H u nte r, E V P fo r p re co n s t r u ct i o n at H o l d e r, co nf i r m s a l l p ro j e ct s of t h e f i r m go t h ro u g h h i s g ro u p . H i s s taf f i n s eve ra l c i t i e s m e et s re g u l a r l y to rev i ew a rc h i te ct u ra l p l a n s b efo re co n s t r u ct i o n b e g i n s . T h e te a m c h o s e M ez za n i n e to i m p rove v i s u a l co m m u n i c at i o n a n d co l l a b o rat i o n a c ro s s l o c at i o n s ,
Mezzanine uses modern comms to bring people together
a n d t h e c h o i c e i s s av i n g t i m e and money. As Chad Douglas, director of pre-construction, describes, “We had a client who was very early in the conceptual phases of putting a project together. Our virtual design and construction department sat in the Mezzanine room with the Revit file up on the screen and started making adjustments on the fly – what if we stretched this building a little bit taller, what if we made it a little bit wider. The ability to use Mezzanine and bring everyone into one place, in real time, meant that it was a five-hour effort as opposed to a five-week effort, because we had the technology to solve the problem quickly.” With Mezzanine, the distributed team is able to share multiple pieces of content at the same time, including drawings, timelines, budgets, and bids, easily from familiar applications. The pixel-rich multi-screen data visualisation and creation capabilities of Mezzanine enable large files to scale and
Detailed planning is now more efficient across different locations
render with fine resolution. Zooming into the details is easy, as is annotating content and capturing display views in the moment. So, for example, when looking to valueengineer a major project for a client, multiple versions can be assessed simultaneously. Insights are surfaced, and issues are addressed together in real time, instead of in a serial fashion with a lot of backand-forth. “It’s clear that when all the stakeholders, tools, and materials can meaningfully converge – wherever they are located, including on the job site – problems are sur faced and solved quickly,” says John Underkoffler, CEO, Oblong Industries. “Mezzanine‘s fluid visual canvas for teamwork delivers that convergence, and it’s changing the game for innovative companies. We’re delighted that Holder is finding Infopresence to be of immediate collaborative value for their organisation.” Oblong Industries oblong.com
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Security for Smart Building Solutions NCN takes a look at some Wi-SUN Alliance research findings, which identify multi-layer protection for smart building solutions as ‘absolutely crucial’.
hen it comes to Smart Building technology Wi-SUN have it covered, proclaiming its Wi-SUN platform as one of the most exciting and interoperable solutions. Recognising that they are no stranger to the market, Wi-SUN deliver multi-vendor interoperable solutions to a broad variety of applications including street lighting, parking systems and traffic management. Municipalities can install products from different
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Phil Beecher, chairman at the Wi SUN Alliance
suppliers confident that they will seamlessly operate. Recent market research commissioned by Wi-SUN across UK, USA, Denmark and Sweden, found that over half of its respondents considered the implementation of smart city and smart utility solutions, with proven security with multilayer protection and continuous monitoring as ‘absolutely crucial’, while industry-wide open standards are also crucial (45% and 43% respectively).
“The benefits of IoT are widely recognised.”
Security is key if intelligent buildings are to thrive
Research also highlighted that the benefits of IoT are widely recognised, with the majority of respondents citing better business efficiency (54%), improved customer experience (49%) or better collaboration (48%). Nearly half of respondents sais that they have seen lower costs and 41% higher customer satisfaction. According to the Wi-SUN research, when organisations are evaluating which IoT technology to move forward with, 58% look for network topology and coverage, while communications performance (53%), industry standards support (52%), and power efficiency (50%) are also sought after. Around half look for reliability (47%) or scalability (44%). “When it comes to the design, development and implementation of IoT projects, especially around smart cities and smart utilities, there are a number of issues that organisations are having to contend with and security is proving to be a particularly significant barrier,” according to Phil Beecher, President and CEO, Wi-SUN Alliance.
“The research highlights that more education is needed: there are many network options, but not all provide the features necessary for large scale outdoor networks, as required by smart cities or utilities. For instance, unlike tower based networks, such as LoRa, SigFox, Ingenu and NB-IOT, Wi-SUN Field Area Network (FAN) specifies a wireless mesh network, which not only supports higher data rates and bi-directional data transmission, but can also provide complete coverage with greater resilience and reliability. Wi-SUN FAN networks are also highly secure as only ‘vetted’ devices can join the network, preventing compromised devices from causing disruption of essential ser vices that may include public safety. It is essential that organisations understand the level of security and the associated risks provided by different network solutions, and choose the very highest security levels available for their IoT networks.” Wi SUN Alliance wi-sun.org
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THE KNOWLEDGE COMPANY SHOWCASE NETWORK SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
Seamless enterprise cloud transition M a s e r g y , a l e a d i n g p rov i d e r o f h y b r i d n et w o r k i n g , m a n a g e d s e c u r i t y a n d c l o u d c o m m u n i c at i o n s solutions, has announced significant e n h a n c e m e n t s to i t s M a n a g e d S D WA N G o s o l u t i o n . U p g ra d e s i n c l u d e s o p h i s t i c ate d a p p l i c at i o n ro u t i n g a n d a u to m at i c p at h c o n t ro l , a s w e l l a s a n e m b e d d e d a d v a n c e d f i re w a l l a n d ro u te r. A c o re c o m p o n e n t o f t h e c o m p a n y ’ s c o m p re h e n s i ve H y b r i d N et w o r k i n g s o l u t i o n s s u i te , S D - WA N G o i s a s t ro n g s o l u t i o n fo r h y b r i d S D WA N d e p l o y m e n t s . “With these enhancements, SDWAN Go is now solidified as the most cost effective and feature-rich solution on the market for the vast majority of enterprise application environments,” says Chris MacFarland, CEO, Masergy. “We’ve made it incredibly easy for CIOs and IT leaders to deploy customised hybrid SD-WANs that deliver optimal application per formance. This will allow organisations of all sizes to operate more efficiently in today’s hypercompetitive global business climate.”
SD-WAN technology delivers notable capabilities that provide: L ower costs by leveraging commodity internet bandwidth for connectivity R apid deployment with automated same-day provisioning C o s t ef fe ct i ve re s i l i e n c y w i t h a ct i ve /a ct i ve s u p p o r t a n d i nte l l i ge nt p at h co nt ro l S trong security through encrypted network traffic
Masergy says SD-WAN Go goes further, delivering additional enterprise grade capabilities at a fraction of the cost of comparable solutions. It differentiates from other offerings with integrated architecture and intelligent orchestration powered by the Masergy Global Software Defined Network Platform. Advantages include: educed IT overheads R I ncreased reliability and application performance S avings and simplicity with embedded routing E nhanced security and local internet offload S eamless integration “For Masergy, SD-WAN is more than the latest buzz word, it’s a philosophy that we’ve practiced for over a decade,” says Chris. Masergy masergy.com
New Embedded Features Improve Application Performance and Security
Simplifying cable cutting & crimping Ideal Industries Inc., manufacturer and supplier of quality tools has announced its launch of the ‘next generation’ of Crimp Tool. The new release is designed to make assembly and termination of CAT5e and CAT6 modular plugs simple and accurate. Used with the IDEAL FT-45 Feed-Thru Modular Plugs, the IDEAL FT-45 Crimp Tool provides cutting and crimping in one easy step. After the wires have been fed into the FT-45 plug, the installer simply places it into the compact and easy-to-use FT-45 Crimp Tool and squeezes the handle to the
closed position. With reduced hand force and no ratcheting, this cleanly shears the excess conductor wires and leaves a smooth, flat finish – crimping and cutting in one easy action. The versatile tool is capable of crimping feed-thru, standard and shielded connectors and includes 568A and 568B wiring schemes marked on the tool for ease of use. The heavy duty cutting blade will last for over 2000 cuts and is replaceable, allowing users to control costs by easily maintaining the Crimp Tool, instead of purchasing a new one. Ideal Industries says that by utilising these two industry-leading products in the FT-45 solution, installers can benefit from a completely new take on the traditional, time-consuming RJ45 assembly and crimping process. With FT-45, the process is simplified and the success rate of terminations is increased. Fo r m axi m u m ef f i c i e n c y , t h e F T - 45 p a c ka ge c an b e u se d w i t h a n I DE A L P re p P R O to st r i p t h e c a b l e j a cket. W i th a u to - a d j u st i n g b l a d e d e pt h , re p l a c e a b l e b l a d e c a r tri dges a n d a sp r i n g - l o a d e d m e c h a n i sm fo r co n si ste nt c u tti n g fo rc e , t h e c a b l e j a c ket c a n b e st r i p p e d e a si l y . T h e I D E AL E l e ct r i c i a n ’ s S c i sso r s c a n b e u se d fo r e a sy sp l i n e removal a n d w i re t r i m mi n g . Once the termination is made, it can be effectively tested with the IDEAL Networks VDV II cable verifier. The VDV II wiremap tester offers advanced troubleshooting functionality, making measuring cable length and locating distance to fault simple, and enabling users to identify wiring errors instantly. Ideal Industries idealindustries.com
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY THE KNOWLEDGE COMPANY SHOWCASE NETWORK
The Power of Lithium-Ion Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery technology offers a host of benefits that make it an attractive and affordable option for a growing set of businesses reliant on distributed IT infrastructure. End users need better performance in a smaller footprint with easier maintenance, all while lowering total cost of ownership (TCO) over the life of their device. For this reason, Schneider Electric, leading brand for integrated physical infrastructure and software, is expanding its APC Smart-UPS portfolio with a Li-Ion battery option for its single-phase offer. Smar t-UPS powered by Li-Ion The company is now expanding its use of Li-Ion technology for its single-phase Smart-UPS portfolio with APC’s new line of Li-Ion Battery UPS. With Li-Ion embedded technology, Smart-UPS On-Line offers several maintenance and cost-saving benefits: L onger life span S maller size and weight – weighing about 30% less than sealed lead acid batteries.
L owe r m a i nte n a n c e a n d tota l co s t of ow n e r s h i p – w i t h d o u b l e t h e b at te r y l i fe , t h e a m o u nt of m a i nte n a n c e a n d a s s o c i ate d co s t s re q u i re d ove r t h e l i fe of t h e U P S i s re d u c e d b y u p to 5 3 % . S afety – adhering to safety regulations UL 1973, UL1642/IEC62133. B etter per formance at higher temperatures – Li-Ion batteries can operate at higher average temperatures without degradation to UPS per formance of runtime. E xtended runtime R emote management capabilities – available with a preinstalled Network Management Card (NMC) option.
Bringing the Power of Lithium-Ion for IoT and Edge Computing Applications through APC Smart-UPS
The solution can also connect to Schneider Electric’s cloud enabled EcoStruxure IT platform, which allows customers to leverage data driven insights about the health and status of their UPS devices to simplify maintenance and optimise performance. The Smart-UPS On-line with Li-Ion battery will be available in select global regions starting Q1 2018. Additional LiIon single-phase products will be rolled out through 2018. APC apc.com
Aerohive launches SD-WAN solution Aerohive Networks, a cloud networking leader, has announced its Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution for highly distributed commercial enterprises, retail chains, and long-term healthcare providers with hundreds to thousands of small to midsize locations and remote workers. Combined with Aerohive’s existing SD-LAN offering, organisations can now radically simplify branch deployments with a unified cloud managed Wi-Fi, switching, and SD-WAN VPN routing solution.
Aerohive SD-WAN SOFTWARE-DEFINED
ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ACCESS
The company says with its SD-WAN solution, multisite organisations benefit from reduced network cost and complexity, faster deployments, identity driven secure access, user and application flow management, path optimisation, and automated fault remediation. Built on cloud networking, virtualised network services, and a selfoptimising, software-defined architecture, Aerohive profess that it’s simple to manage and flexible SD-WAN solution promises a secure and reliable HQ-like network experience for every user and device, regardless of location. Available in January 2018, Aerohive’s SD-WAN will launch with the new cloud-managed XR200P router, and a virtualised Layer 3 VPN gateway, equipped with: A pplication based flow optimisation A lways on connectivity N etwork policy enforcement R educed cost and complexity R apid deployments with automated provisioning E nterprise-class network visibility and reporting U nified software-defined access layer
Redefining network economics, control, and performance for highly distributed sites and teleworkers.
SD-WAN broadens Aerohive’s existing software-defined access network portfolio that already includes adaptive Wi-Fi and switch technologies, to a fully unified cloud networking experience. Aerohive areohive.com
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KNOW HOW Can an intelligent IoT tackle problems such as traffic congestion?
Making the most of the IoT Boosting the power of IoT with upgraded networks and reimagined ecosystems, Tony Judd, managing director, Enterprise EMEA at global networks specialist Verizon.
s the world continues to become more and more connected, we’re beginning to see a network of devices that will suppor t an entire shared economy across many industries. For enterprises, the Internet of Things (IoT) presents huge oppor tunity to be more efficient, to find new ways to engage and keep customers and to transform the way business is conducted. Continued innovation in smart cities, connected cars and wearables demonstrates that IoT is the future for how we will live and work. However, despite the exciting potential, IoT is still too complex, too fragmented, too expensive to connect and too hard to scale.
40 | December 2017
So what will the future hold? How will the potential of IoT be supported and propelled through the use of complementary technologies?
We’re at the tip of the IoT iceberg The IoT is being fueled by a mi x of te c h n o l o g i c a l , p o l i t i c a l a n d so c i a l fa cto r s, w h i c h a re d r i v i n g m o re o rga n i sat i o n s to a d o pt I o T - e n a b l e d so l u t i o n s. Fo r exa mp l e , t h e u se of so c i a l me d i a a n d mo b i l e te c h n o l o g y h a s t ra n sfo r m e d co n su me r a n d c i t i ze n exp e ctat i o n s. A l so , t h e d e c l i n i n g co st s of se n so r s, co n n e ct i v i t y a n d p ro c e ssi n g p owe r h a s m a d e I o T a mo re v i a b l e p ro p o si t i o n to a b ro a d e r set of o rga n i sat i o n s. C h a n g i n g
re g u l ato r y re q u i re me nts acros s a n u m b e r of i n d u st r i e s are als o ma k i n g a n i mp a ct . A report released by Verizon shows that Gartner forecasts continued growth in the IoT sector, with more than $2 trillion expected to have been spent on IoT by the end of this year alone – up 31% since 2016. After years of focusing on cost-cutting, many industries — from financial services to manufacturing — are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and boost share prices. Many organisations are starting to use IoT as a roadmap to improve their customers’ experiences, accelerate growth and create new business models that are driving societal innovation.
KNOW HOW An IoT future needs a robust foundation We see the Software-Defined everything world to be a key driving force behind IoT. Networks today are relatively static because they are so complex — when you change them, you risk breaking something. Software Defined Networks offer the opportunity to add more sophisticated, coordinated services on a virtualised basis as well as driving the intelligence from the front line back into the enterprise to enable organisations to immediately act on it. What SDN offers is scalability and speed, but more importantly, it offers a deeper, richer experience for organisations. This gives enterprises a more sophisticated network feature set and service experience that allows for greater operational efficiency and speed to market by moving the functionality into the software layer. However, a powerful network is only the beginning – combine this power with enterprise-grade cloud and security solutions enabled through a wider variety of omniconnected smart devices and the performance power behind IoT can be immense.
A new frontier for hackers?
frugal. Limitations on space mean that processing power and battery life are often limited. This means that many sensors aren’t capable of running the endpoint protection capabilities we’re used to seeing in more sophisticated assets, like laptops. As IoT devices become more widespread and more closely integrated with core enterprise systems, the more important it is that security is made paramount from the start. Just as with any other IT system, organisations should regularly assess the risk, apply appropriate security measures, and test their effectiveness.
Building the IoT ecosystem So how will all of this evolve even further ? Organisations need to look at simplifying the IoT, with the aim of accelerating market adoption amongst consumers and businesses; bringing more solutions to market. For example, deploying an IoT platform allows customers to manage their IoT deployments and all related data — from device to network to application — in an endto-end way. IoT platforms can also enable partners to market their services and most importantly, create opportunities for developers to build applications, all
“We see the SoftwareDefined everything world to be a key driving force behind IoT. ”
in an open environment. This approach lays the groundwork to launch integrated solutions and for enterprises to implement IoT solutions quickly and easily. Ad d i t i o n a l l y , o n c e s oluti on s a re d e p l o y e d , i t ’ s p o ssi b le to l i n k I o T p l at fo r m s to a b i g data e n g i n e to h e l p b u si n e ss es gai n mo re a ct i o n a b l e i n si g hts . Thi s w i l l a l l ow o rga n i sat i o ns to take i n ma ssi ve a m o u nt s of data, q ui ckly a n a l y se i t a n d t u r n t h at data i nto u sa b l e i nte l l i ge n c e to i mp rove co mp a n y so l u t i o n s. With its current fragmented approach, it is clear that for IoT to be a success in the future it will require suppliers to cut through IoT’s complexity and change the current IoT model. The market winners will be organisations that have experience across the board from networks, devices, platforms and applications; that can work in partnership with their customers and understand their goals to maximise impact. These organisations adopt a higher-level approach to IoT, not only to simplify adoption but crucially provide the supporting functions/expertise that this new technology will need to expand. Verizon verizon.com
With IoT still in its infancy, it’s difficult to say with certainty what threats companies are facing, but we can look at what we do know. Of the projected five billion enterprise devices that will be around in 2020, not all of them will necessarily be Internet-visible, and not all devices will be sending sensitive data. In fact, many of them will be simple devices that have a single function — like a light sensor. That said, any device that is connected, regardless of whether it’s IoT-enabled, is a potential target for a cyber attack. The devices themselves may not be the end target (they could be used to carry out malicious activity as part of a botnet attack), but they could be used as a gateway into the broader enterprise network and critical systems. IoT is all about making the things around us smar ter, but many sensors, especially those embedded in assets, must be
December 2017 | 41
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Published on Dec 18, 2017