Juniper Networks is rolling out a ruggedized networking platform that officials say will offer the types of protections from harsh environments that will become increasingly important as machine-to-machine Internet traffic grows.
The LN2600 Rugged Secure Router is an all-in-one networking platform—it includes routing, switching and security capabilities in a single system—that is built to withstand the extreme heat, cold, moisture, vibration and dust found in places where machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is becoming more common, according to officials.
“This trend is being largely driven by machine-to-machine communication, where devices capture data—say flow rate on an oil pipeline or temperature in a mine—and relay that information over a network to an application, translating it into something meaningful,” Mike Marcellin, vice president of strategy and marketing at Juniper, said in a post on the company’s blog. “Smart grids, for example, use this information gathering and communication technology to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics and sustainability of electrical production and distribution.”
Organizations in such industries as utilities, telecommunications, industrial manufacturing and transportation tend to run sites that feature particularly harsh environments, where the temperatures can be extreme, and issues such as dust, moisture and heavy vibration are the norm. Networking systems in these places need to be able to withstand those pressures, Marcellin wrote.
“These environments pose a significant challenge to traditional networking equipment designed to work in less formidable conditions,” he wrote.
The LN2600 Rugged Secure Router, announced July 30, is designed specifically for these environments, according to Marcellin. The hardened system has no vents or other openings, protecting it from dust or liquids. There are no moving parts, which lessens the risk of something breaking and reduces the need for on-site maintenance, and it runs Juniper’s Junos operating system, which he said makes it easier to deploy, operate and manage.
“The LN2600 is ideal for connecting remote telemetry units, surveillance cameras, programmable logic controllers and other intelligent devices to relay information and deliver new business capabilities,” Marcellin wrote.
The LN2600 will complement Juniper’s existing LN1000 ruggedized mobile router.
Mobile Internet traffic is expected to increase exponentially over the next few years, as more people use more mobile devices—including smartphones and tablets—and connect them to increasingly faster wireless networks. The number of connected devices will reach more than 30 billion by 2020, and that will include extending into harsher environments, according to Juniper officials.
Cisco Systems, in its annual Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, is forecasting mobile Internet traffic to grow to a staggering 134 exabytes by 2017. Video-based and M2M traffic will increasingly grow to become larger percentages of that traffic, Cisco officials said in the report, released in February.
"By 2017, global mobile data traffic will continue its truly remarkable growth, increasing thirteenfold over the next five years, to reach an amount more than 46 times the total amount of mobile IP traffic just a few years ago in 2010," Doug Webster, vice president of service provider network marketing at Cisco, said in a statement at the time the survey was released. "With such dramatic adoption, we are rapidly approaching the time when nearly every network experience will be a mobile one and, more often than not, a visual one, as well."
M2M traffic also will be a key part in the growth of the Internet of Things, where everyday things, mobile devices, homes, cities, cars and other items are infused with intelligence and ubiquitously connected to the Internet, creating greater efficiencies and generating massive amounts of data. Cisco officials—who prefer to talk about the Internet of Everything—said it will generate $14.4 trillion by 2020 for the global economy.
Already this year, the Internet of Everything will generate as much as $613 billion in profits this year for businesses around the world, according to Cisco.