The foundation of any smart city is city net. All users are reliant on it, and these users include citizens, tourists, public employees, local public services or businesses and connected objects, like sensors. Smart cities collect data – using wire or wireless networks – and analyze the information to understand and predict trends. Smart cities have the potential to really improve the quality of any city. Hence, for you to have a good city net, your city network will have to address the following drivers:
- Support smart city initiatives: Support public services efficiency, support public employees’ collaboration and mobility, enhance resident safety and security, and promote better quality of life
- Support business competitiveness: Attract businesses and start-ups with skilled workforce due to fast and secure connectivity. Generate new sources of quality employment.
- Cost effectiveness: Take advantage of economies of scale to lower costs through ownership, bulk-buying or wholesale of network services.
City Net Technical Requirements
What are the general technical requirements of smart city networks we have encountered in our projects? Here are some we can mention:
You may need to provide services to multiple tenants. It is mostly government agencies, schools and hospitals that need L3 VPN services. L2 VPN services are needed in specific situations such as data center interconnection. Finally, IoT devices of different classes need to be isolated in their own L2 or L3 container for security.
A city network must always be available because the city network serves several agencies and supports multiple use cases. The city network must implement redundancy at all layers to avoid and protect from node or link failure and facilitate in-service maintenance. In case of failure, the network must re-converge within a second.
The smart city network architecture must be scalable to support the required number of tenants, containers, devices and users as well as bandwidth and multicast flow and more.
The city network can be comprised of thousands of network nodes and IoT devices. Because of the network’s great dimension and capacity, it is essential that there is a template-driven automatic provisioning of nodes to reduce time, errors and cost of deployment.
Security in a smart city network is a lot more critical than in a traditional enterprise, because a smart city network supports mission-critical infrastructure and has a lot of data that must be protected. Hence, it is essential that smart cities take a multi-layered approach. It includes security hardening of nodes and devices, network admission control (NAC) and role-based access, protection of data integrity and confidentiality, as well as quarantine and remediation among others.
Smart city network nodes will be deployed in locations that are subject to extreme temperatures, dust, vibration and shock. An example of this is within a road-side cabinet. The network devices must tolerate such harsh conditions.
Finally, for a deeper dive on what you need to know to make a solid decision, read the Smart City Network Solution Guide.
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