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GCN : February 2015
A group of computer and network- ing firms have formed an alliance to standardize on the use of low-power wide-area networks, or LAPWANs, to drive development of Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine and smart city applications. The LoRa Alliance is dedicated to using protocols derived from LAPWAN, including LoRaWAN, to ensure interop- erability of IoT applications between telecom operators and other firms who have joined the effort. The LoRaWAN technology is consid- ered suitable for IoT and M2M applica- tions because it extends much farther than cellular technology and often operates in small sensor-type devices that can last for months on the power of a small battery. LoRaWAN also lets public networks link multiple applications using the same network infrastructure, which will help enable new applications for IoT, M2M, sensor networks and industrial automation applications, according to the group. Device manufacturers and develop- ers are also using the technology to propose solutions at a lower total cost of ownership and with longer battery life that often do not need a powerful cellu- lar connection, according the Alliance’s announcement. “The LoRa technology is ideal to tar- get battery-operated sensors and low- power applications as a complement to M2M cellular connectivity,” said Richard Viel, chief operating officer of Bouygues Telecom, a French mobile phone service provider. Olivier Hersent, CEO of Actility, a French energy management and IoT services firm, said the low power tech- nology protocol enables M2M applica- tions to scale across long distances on low cost networks. “With LoRaWAN, entire cities or countries can be covered with a few base stations, no longer requiring the upfront rollout and maintenance of thousands of nodes as in traditional mesh networking,” he said. “This has made IoT possible now, with minimal infrastructure investment.” Open technologies are also a key enabler of M2M connectivity, according to Thorsten Kramp, master inventor at IBM Research, another member of the alliance. To that end, IBM has released the IBM protocol – LoRaWAN in C – as open source, he said, “which provides a solid foundation for the development of a broad range of end devices compliant with the LoRaWAN specifications.” “To encourage the mass adoption of low cost, long range, machine-to- machine connectivity, open ecosystems are critical,” Kramp said. Gartner analyst Nick Jones told IDG News Service’s Stephen Lawson that the IoT technology market is “in what you might call a land-grab phase. Ev- eryone is trying to get ahead to estab- lish their presence.” Prospective alliance members include Actility, Cisco, Eolane, IBM, Kerlink, IMST, MultiTech, Sagemcom, Semtech, and Microchip Technology. Telecom operators so far include Bouygues Tele- com, KPN, SingTel, Proximus, Swiss- com, and FastNet, from South Africa. • Alliance proposes low-power wireless protocol for IoT Riverside, Calif., wound up a project to upgrade its disaster recovery infrastruc- ture that resulted in doubling its data storage capacity and enabling fail-over capabilities, all without disrupting data access for its end users. The data storage and security proj- ect involved migrating half a petabyte of data from the city’s outgoing storage area network. A NetApp FAS8040 stor- age array was deployed at the city’s primary data center, and a NetApp FAS8020 array was installed at another location for disaster recovery. NetApp SnapMirror replication soft- ware was used to provide a duplicate copy of the city’s data at the disaster recovery site, while the firm’s Clustered Data OnTAP storage operating system enabled failover and scalability. The city contracted for the design of the system, deployment and data migration services with DataLink Inc., a provider of data center infrastructure services. The new system provides nearly a petabyte of storage that can be scaled up and has the ability to move work- loads to any storage pool within the cluster to accommodate changing requirements or hardware refreshes, according to Datalink. The features were put in place entirely after hours to avoid service interruptions. Datalink is also providing technical support through its OneCall service, which is staffed by two U.S .- based support centers to ensure redundancy and compliance with service-level agreements. • City smoothes disaster recovery upgrade GCN FEBRUARY 2015 • GCN.COM 15 “With LoRaWAN, entire cities or countries can be covered with a few base stations.” – OLIVIER HERSENT, ACTILITY 0215gcn_005-016.indd 15 2/3/15 9:31 AM