A programmable and virtualized network & IT infrastructure for the internet of things: How can NFV & SDN help for facing the upcoming challenges

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has major impacts on the network & Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. As IT in the past decade, network virtualization is simultaneously on its way with for instance Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN). NFV and SDN are approaches enhancing the infrastructure agility thus facilitating the design, delivery and operation of network services in a dynamic and scalable manner. IoT will push the infrastructure to its limit with numerous and diverse requirements to fulfill, we therefore believe that the agility brought by the combination of NFV and SDN is essential to face the IoT revolution.

In this article, we first highlight some IoT challenges that the network & IT infrastructure will face. The NFV and SDN benefits are presented from a network operator point of view. Following a description of the IoT ecosystem and a recall of some of the IoT stakeholders expectations, a new multi-layered IoT architecture involving SDN and NFV and based upon network & IT resources is put forward. Finally, the article illustrates how the proposed architecture is able to cope with the identified IoT challenges.

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