A Kink in the Blockchain

NB-IoT and Virtual Network Latency

blockchain iot

As Internet of Things (IoT) devices proliferate across nearly every aspect of our personal and business lives, many of these implementations will be utilizing basic blockchain services. According to IDC, by 2019, 20 percent of all IoT deployments will have basic levels of blockchain services enabled.

Along with the rapid growth of IoT devices comes a corresponding increase in DNS requests and DNS-dependent services. The rub here is, if DNS services are not reachable, then the blockchain essentially becomes useless, because the next part of the chain can’t be accessed. This means DNS functionality is crucial to the performance of IoT and the blockchain.

As highly distributed databases and applications associated with blockchain increasingly rely on complex IT infrastructures, such as private servers and virtual machines, growing resource demands put load sharing and latency in the crosshairs. Exceedingly short latencies for real-time applications, large demands on data capacities and data rates, and the need for unrestricted connectivity make service assurance a business imperative. Even hybrid environments that rely on services hosted from the cloud present problems for the network and reinforce the importance of performance reliability.

The advent of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is creating a more agile network environment that is faster and better able to respond to varying loads, thus enabling new services to be rolled out much more quickly. Of course, with this greater agility also comes increased complexity in network operation and maintenance. The introduction of new services creates a higher risk of service failures. This makes it all the more important to be able to quickly identify and correct problems in virtual networks before service quality is impacted and the user experience is adversely affected. 

Network monitoring and the ability to achieve service assurance is key for successful widespread deployment of narrow-band IoT (which is seen as a vital bridge technology to an eventual nationwide 5G network), blockchain and virtual networks. However, attaining service assurance in virtualized environments is no simple task. Virtual functions such as authentication services, routing and switching functions, and DNS could create heavy peak loads, which overburden networks.

Businesses and service providers alike will need to monitor the connections and interactions between IoT devices and the network. Service assurance solutions, such as those offered by NETSCOUT, will be critically important for identifying the root cause of errors and issues surrounding DNS performance and potential cyberattacks. Armed with these invaluable insights, IoT, virtual networks and blockchain will be able to live up to their full potential.

This blog is based on the article, Blockchain, NB-IoT and virtual networks, which was published in Big Data Insider magazine.