Blasting Into Interconnected Space
Catching a rocket into the cloud.
Something we’ve noticed over the last 12 months, not only in technological development, but in applications, is a groundswell of interconnectivity.
I’m not really talking about 5G or basic IoT here, though these technologies are part of the wider discussion. It’s also impossible to push AI/VCA/Analytics completely out of the way when discussing interconnectivity, because it’s these data-hungry applications that benefit most from unfettered flow.
For electronic security people, interconnectivity has an operational focus and it’s happening between remote sub systems, as well as between partnered systems where data can be shared to liberate situational awareness using data exchange points at the edge with minimal back haul. Something to consider with interconnectivity is that it’s not about increasingly unreliable and high-risk public internet-based networks – it’s about using whatever secure connection you can establish with whoever you can trust to deliver sufficient bandwidth for the task.
And it’s not just land-based networks in this mix – satellites are ever more integral to interconnectivity. In part we’re talking about private interconnection, which gives maximum bandwidth with total security across wide areas. Direct connections are premium services and that means they have greater oversight and are more reliable. Something else we are talking about with many-to-many or many-to-one interconnections is that they are about more than just cable runs.
A well-designed connection will be software programmable, enhancing the performance possibilities and minimising nasties like latency – that’s especially important with bandwidth-hungry video surveillance. Of course, the only way to minimise latency is to reduce the number of hands a signal passes through –essentially, that means minimising distances between interconnected systems. These short hops take planning and the active establishment and maintenance of symbiotic relationships. In a very real way it’s creating new kinds of networks that are separate from public infrastructure, the sort of networks we’ve not seen before.
The importance of private interconnectivity can’t be underestimated in Australia, where internet services seem to bemired in the past. Whether it’s high contention rates, low investment in infrastructure or over-subscription of limited services no longer matters. If you want to leverage the power of the latest electronic security solutions, you simply must focus on interconnectivity.
Private interconnectivity feeds into cloud, too. Amazon cloud was born as an internal service that allowed Amazon to enhance its own infrastructure by de-coupling. For end users, and integrators it’s hard to imagine de-coupling infrastructure –can it be done securely, can we afford it, will management be too hard? As it turns out, compute-on-demand offers big advantages in major electronic security applications. Services like endlessly scalable cloud are attractive to defence and homeland security people for good reasons.
Interconnectivity and cloud are vital for IoT as well. One of the challenges of IoT has been imagining networks that could fulfil the conceptual possibilities contrived by propeller heads without requiring dedicated global networks. The alternative is global infrastructure that’s shared by multiple applications yet can be sculpted by private entities to feel unique at the front end. This infrastructure is exceptionally robust because it is rooted in interconnectivity.
There’s a lesson here for security people. Services that will define the future; the camera as a sensor, analytics, face recognition, IoT, home automation and many more; depend on the same functional elements to perform. Those elements must be fed by interconnectivity and they are strengthened by it, too, making interconnected networks more and more capable, more and more reliable. It’s a commercial feedback loop.
The trend towards interconnectivity, which is driven by and is fuelling analytics and IoT, is a trend manufacturers must chase in order to compete in the modern world –it’s the new frontier of feature sets.
The idea of an alarm or access control system being released today with nothing more than a keypad interface – with no ability to generate reports or allow remote management– it’s unthinkable. Similarly, users are imagining entirely new structures for their systems that are unbound by geography – instead they are
governed entirely by need.
For security managers seeking situational awareness, interconnectivity is vital, and it proffers challenges and opportunities. The more devices that are addressable on interconnected networks, the more capable electronic security solutions can be, the more powerful analytics can be, and the greater the efficiencies will be –delivered to anyone, anywhere.