Transition from legacy technology architecture long overdue

26 Apr 2015
Open ecosystem far removed from proprietary schemes is the way forward in quest to curtail hacking, Avaya says
The hunt for solutions that reduce the ability of hackers to gain access to private networks and reduce the visibility of those networks’ Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure is a top priority for decision-makers both the private and public sector, an industry expert has said.
“There are solutions out there which can assist. However, they require a shift in mindset and a transition from the legacy architecture [client-server architecture]. Customers need to urgently open their minds and quickly evaluate what’s on offer. The key to a viable solution is to embrace an ecosystem of technology to address these needs,” said Jean Turgeon, vice-president and chief technologist at Avaya.
Governments and enterprises are especially concerned about anyone penetrating their corporate networks and assets, potentially exposing their intellectual property as well as citizen and customer information.
Turgeon said no one one vendor could accomplish this on their own, thus reinforcing the need for open architecture and a push away from proprietary schemes.
“The good news is that there are solutions out there. The bad news is that if private and public enterprises are looking at the same vendors that built their networks 20 years ago proclaiming they can do it all, this approach will fail,” he said.
His recommendation is for entities to open their minds to an open architecture, yet controlled with accountability from specific technology experts, who will provide pieces to the puzzle.
As the smart city concept gains traction in the region, it provides more than just WiFi services, with most smart city initiatives adding video surveillance and analytics on a very large scale — something that’s difficult to do when using legacy infrastructure.
“As governments provision all new capabilities and services to their smart cities, they will have to review their infrastructure to be able to scale and meet the real-time analytics requirements. They would also have to consider adding sensor technology to address various needs, contributing to making the city safer,” he said.
To address and enhance security as part of a smart city initiative, many devices such as cameras, sensors, wearables and others “need to be deployed and implemented”.
“All these require connectivity at the edge of the networking infrastructure. Of course, carrier wireless will play a key role in this, but many will require connectivity to the city infrastructure and even carrier-connected devices will likely have to connect securely back to some common analytics infrastructure securely,” he said.
In the end, he said that it converges to the need for next-generation architecture to address the needs of next-generation smart cities.
You can’t achieve these “business objectives” with a 20 or 25 years old client-server architecture, he said.
“The good news is there is a next-generation matrix architecture based on Ethernet transport and optimised for IP services regardless of their connectivity methodology being proposed, but unfortunately many vendors are trying to fool the market by renaming and shifting complexity from one place to the other and hope customers will not notice,” he said.
“A due diligence is definitely required to achieve these objectives.”

Related Avaya blog post: Q&A with Avaya Chief Technologist Jean Turgeon on Securing the Smart Cities of the Future