Trends and standards are driving need for automated infrastructure management

IoT--A buzz word that can create anxiety for organizations as they create plans to deal with the expected number of devices and data traffic. These plans will include supporting cabling infrastructure, but will they also include automated infrastructure management? Dave Tanis points out the need for AIM systems and shares a video from NG Bailey, a customer with the foresight to implement an AIM system.

It’s difficult to have a discussion around network trends in the building without the topic of Internet of Things (IoT) coming up. With forecasts ranging from 20 billion to as high as 200 billion IoT devices expected by 2020, people and organizations are asking a lot of questions and trying to prepare for this tsunami of devices that will be connected to the network. The ultimate goal is to realize the value that IoT promises.

Commercial buildings are expected to be the home for several billion of these devices. And while many of them will connect wirelessly, there are an increasing number of devices that are being connected, powered and managed by a single twisted pair cable. Even the traffic from the myriad of IoT sensors that connect wirelessly will still reach a wired network in the form of a wireless access point or IoT gateway.

In fact, with plans underway to increase the power levels specified in the power over Ethernet (PoE) standards, the types of devices that will be remotely powered by PoE switches is growing rapidly. By 2018, it is predicted that an additional 45 million devices powered via the higher power 4-Pair PoE will be deployed.

The increased number of devices connected and powered over twisted pair cabling provides an opportunity to manage the full end -to-end connectivity. Automated infrastructure management (AIM) technology provides this capability through management of the cabling infrastructure along with the devices that connect to it. AIM systems have been commercially available for over a decade and continue to drive real value for users that have incorporated it into their workstreams. The sharp increase in the number of devices, coupled with the trend to connect more and more of them over structured cabling, AIM systems can provide a level of security and management tools to allows IT managers to accommodate the sharp increase in the number and type of devices connected and powered over structured cabling,

The AIM standard is due to be completed this year as part of the global ISO/IEC 18598 standard, so we can expect even further adoption as it moves from being a "nice to have" to a "must-have" technology.

Several companies were proactive and decided to look at AIM systems more than a decade ago. A few vendors, including CommScope, went even further to develop managed services for its clients based on an AIM platform. In this video, NG Bailey explains how they use the imVision® AIM system from CommScope to deliver hot desk services, tailored managed services, and detailed reporting to their clients.