John English

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With 5G fast approaching and IoT traffic on the rise, it’s little wonder that operators are girding for an avalanche of data. Migrating cloud, compute and processing power to the network edge is seen as the best way to meet the ultra-low latency and interactive needs of 5G applications, such as connected cars. According to a recent IDC study, 45 percent of all data created by IoT devices will be stored, processed, analyzed and acted upon close to or at the edge of a network by 2020.

As mobile edge computing - or as it is also known, multi-access edge computing - rapidly moves from concept to reality, operators face a number of important questions. How will 5G applications interact with and impact complex new network infrastructures? And what type of traffic patterns will emerge with IoT once networks must handle driverless cars, automated factories and connected production lines? No doubt having an accurate view of what’s going on across the network will be imperative.

As operators invest in infrastructure to meet future capacity demands, many of those decisions are based on current data traffic trends and volumes. This approach is not fool proof, and will likely leave operators constantly having to adjust network conditions in order to maintain optimal performance.

Moving data center capabilities to the edge of the network will allow operators to put infrastructure in place that is more adroit at meeting the needs of 5G and IoT. This will generate a wealth of smart data that operators can use to better allocate capacity where it's needed the most to manage IoT traffic. At the same time, smart data will alert operators when there's a problem with 5G networks before it cascades and impacts countless IoT devices.

Smart data solutions, such as those offered by NETSCOUT, enable operators to obtain visibility throughout the IoT lifecycle – particularly as they move network infrastructure to the edge, harnessing NFV and cloud to deliver new services and applications. Armed with a smart data solution, operators can monitor the entire IoT ecosystem to be certain everything is assured and connected.

Smart data will be key to ensuring the successful deployment of mobile edge computing, from testing through to monitoring and analysis of live traffic, to network orchestration and automation.

This blog is based on the article, Future Network Investments Hampered by Outdated Thinking written by John English, Senior Product Manager, Service Providers for NETSCOUT, which was published on The Edge.

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