New Wi-Fi-Spec for IoT Devices Eases the Burden
A newly introduced Wi-Fi standard could mean big business opportunities for data centers. The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced a new standard called Wi-Fi HaLow, which addresses many of the issues plaguing Internet of Things devices. HaLow makes changes to the IEEE 802.11ah standard that increases range, removes clutter, and lowers power requirements. IoT is an important element in the future of data centers because the devices heavily rely on external servers to process data.
Crowd Control: A New Band Frees the Airwaves
HaLow operates in the 900 MHz band which means it frees space for other devices like laptops and smartphones to use existing Wi-Fi networks. If you have too many devices on the same radio frequencies, network access points get overloaded which causes lag. This is why many homes and offices implement dual-band networks operating on the 2.4 GHz and 5.0GHz bands to address crowding issues. IT professionals concerned about IoT devices further bogging down already overcrowded Wi-Fi networks can breathe a sigh of relief.
Longer Range and Less Physical Interference
HaLow’s 900 MHz frequency offers twice the range of existing Wi-Fi standards and is less prone to signal-disrupting barrier (walls and ceilings) interference. IoT devices can run into problems with connecting to wireless networks that you don’t get with other platforms. Some devices are always on the move while others are tucked far away from the Wi-Fi access point, so achieving and keeping a constant connection can be tricky. The passive nature of IoT devices means the devices can go offline for extended periods of time without noticing.
Lower Power Requirements
HaLow requires less electricity to operate than other existing Wi-Fi standards. The benefits are pretty straight-forward as devices can last longer on the same battery charge and have lower energy-consumption costs. This change is particularly helpful for smaller IoT devices like fitness bands and smartwatches because these devices have little room available for batteries.
Server Demand Still Necessary
Technology like IoT devices and HaLow Wi-Fi are excellent developments for the data center industry as a whole because they are poised to spur the need for more data center resources. According to the analysts at Gartner, the industry could be looking at 25 billion active IoT devices in use by 2020 and Cisco predicts IoT devices will help boost annual global data center traffic from 3.4 zettabytes in 2014 to a staggering 10.4 ZB in 2019. Anyone worried about the future of data centers can breathe a little easier knowing technology improvements like HaLow help further the potential for industry growth.
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