Martello BLOG : Non classé

If the movie Back to the Future was any indicator, by now we should all be traveling around on floating hoverboards and blasting back and forth through time. We know that reality has not come to fruition – yet. Today in the media, we all hear the term ‘smart cities’ tossed around and we nod our heads and think ‘Yes, I know that is coming.’ – but what does it really mean and how do the business decisions that you are making today impact the Smart City of the future? The recent announcement by BlackBerry and L-Spark about a new autonomous vehicles accelerator offers some insight into how the Canadian IoT leader is preparing for tomorrow’s connected world. 

What is a Smart City?

The term Smart City has a broad scope but at the center of it is the idea to build a community that leverages information and communication technologies to make things more efficient, streamlined and improve quality of life. There are three key elements that contribute to a Smart City:

  • Improved communications technology
  • The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Increase in available data

Imagine a city with public wi-fi areas, integrative public transportation streaming, tap and pay parking spots, autonomous public transportation, libraries that offer online services, live air quality monitoring – the possibilities are infinite as long as your network is ready to handle the demand.

Frost and Sullivan has predicted that by 2020 the smart cities market will be worth $1.5 trillion. 

A Smart City is a Connected City

As cities grow, they have been integrating new technologies at a dizzying pace. As these innovations make life easier for city planners and citizens, the new services are often only as good as the quality of their link to the Internet. With more integration between these various systems, and with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), cities will need to adopt a flexible yet robust network infrastructure to keep up with the demand. Martello’s technology, chosen by BlackBerry as part of its accelerator program, maximizes network uptime across all sites, while prioritizing the applications and types of traffic that matter most.

Building a Network that is Smart City Ready

So how do you keep a Smart City up and running? The most important step is to set up a  business continuity plan and build a rock-solid network infrastructure that includes:

1. Failover and Availability

The key to network performance lies in bandwidth and technology diversification. By using multiple different links from various providers, municipal institutions can avoid being sent back to the Dark Ages. With devices such as Martello’s Link Balancers, all connections can be used concurrently. If one of them goes down, the traffic is immediately redirected to other available paths, preserving active sessions. In the event where a municipal data center goes dark, it’s possible to redirect the traffic to alternate resources such as mirrored servers, either physical, or in the Cloud.

2. Application Control: Security and Uptime

One of the key success factors for a Smart City is to provide dedicated applications and city-wide public Wi-Fi to citizens and travelers. Distributing traffic across multiple sites improves performance, but there’s a limit to what the entire network can handle. This is when controlling what’s happening on the network becomes more important.

Safe Private Networks – Private municipal data and public Wi-Fi sessions shouldn’t share the same network. Find a solution that allows you to split the network into airtight compartments, preventing any leak from one to the other.

Promote City Applications – While cities can’t guarantee the quality of cellular networks, they have more control over the quality of their public Wi-Fi. Using a network performance solution like Martello’s allows you to set priorities for internet traffic. Limiting unwanted traffic or giving priority to city sanctioned applications (e.g. Live bus schedules, snow removal coordination) will give you more control over the quality of public Wi-Fi in smart cities.

Emergency Dispatch Services – Much in the same way, Martello’s technologies can prioritize real-time communications by relying on the company’s extensive experience in unified communications (UC) performance management. This is critical for emergency response, where dispatch centers rely on uninterrupted and stellar communications.

As technology accelerates, expectations for network performance skyrockets. While autonomous vehicles driving around on city streets might still seem like the stuff that you see in movies, the reality is that this is coming much faster than most people realize.  Taking the time now to establish a rock-solid network infrastructure will mean that as the demands of Smart Cities grow, your network will be ready to handle it.

Interested in finding out more? Book some time with our enterprise network experts – let them help you put together the solution that will transform your network.

Watching a scary Halloween horror movie is not for the faint of heart. These movies often start off slow but as they progress the foolish choices of the characters have you on high alert for the jump-scare that you know is coming!

Network administration can sometimes be the same nail-biting, edge of your seat – ‘oh, what is going to go wrong next?’- experience. So, how can you take the scary aspects out of network administration? First off, when assessing your network, it is always a good idea to identify the ‘weakest link’. WAN links continue to be some of the most critical parts of any IT infrastructure, and in some cases, they are indeed a network’s weakest link. It’s no secret that the growing adoption of cloud services and SaaS-based applications is making them even more critical. As companies move applications to the cloud, bandwidth consumption is being shifted from the enterprise to the Internet, straining the infrastructure at the network edge and impacting the user experience.

Like those scary Halloween movies, you often don’t see the villain coming until its too late. For Administrators, typically the first indication that there is a problem is when users start complaining that their applications are slow or crashing. Just imagine that you are streaming that spooky Halloween movie and in that critical moment, your network drops.

There are many reasons why this might happen:

  • Too much traffic. If too many employees try to access cloud-based applications at the same time, the WAN link can perform more slowly than expected, especially during a “rush hour” when users first log in at the start of a workday.
  • Equipment failures. When a router or modem fails to operate normally, it causes the Internet link to halt operation. This could be a blip or a longer outage, which could impact operations.
  • ISP issues. Problems with the ISP infrastructure, whether a server failure or a cut fiber link, can strain or interrupt service to your business.

Managing the network at the Edge does not have to frighten you – in today’s cloud-driven environment, eliminating potential points of failure is critical to providing services to both employees and customers. The movement to the cloud isn’t going to stop – it’s only growing. Businesses need to meet this trend head-on by deploying flexible bandwidth management solutions that optimize and adjust their bandwidth supply in a cost-efficient way. Balancing Internet traffic across many links allows enterprises to provide better user experience and prevent outages, and at the same time supply the network availability and redundancy that their mission-critical applications require.

This Halloween, pop some popcorn and get ready to enjoy those scary movies!  Be prepared to be scared, knowing that with the right infrastructure in place, your network doesn’t need to frighten you.

Why some of the top hotels in the world turn to Martello to deliver exceptional High-Speed Internet to their guests.

We have all been there, a business trip or vacation comes up and you start doing online research to book a hotel for your stay. If you are like us, you tend to make your bookings online and peruse reviews and comments associated with the hotel that you are looking to book. As you are looking online, what do you care about? The thread count of the sheets on the bed? Maybe… Typically, after the location and onsite amenities, Internet performance is one of the top considerations that guests have when booking a hotel.

Hoteliers know that spotty high-speed Internet access (HSIA) affects their bottom line. Poor performance can dramatically impact the overall guest experience and is a significant influencer when it comes to guests making decisions regarding hotels.

So, how can you keep up with guest demand and deliver reliable HSIA? To keep up with demand and deliver reliable service under the pressures of real-time communications, hundreds of properties rely on Martello’s SD-WAN and UC Performance Management solutions.

Case Study: Conrad Dubai

“I was paying huge amounts for Internet with one Leased Line, and wished to substitute it with multiple ADSL Lines.” – Mahmoud Karaki Conrad Dubai

Challenge

The Conrad Dubai is a 51-storey luxury hotel, located in Dubai’s commercial center. As part of one of Hilton’s luxury brands, and with 555 rooms onsite, Conrad Dubai feels the pressure to deliver 24/7 HSIA to its guests. The reality is though that leased lines (i.e.: private circuits, private lines) are particularly expensive in Dubai, and the property was planning to replace its costly line with multiple lower bandwidth ADSL links. The move would provide considerable savings on a monthly basis. Yet, despite the savings, they were afraid that it would be at the expense of performance, which was an unacceptable risk. They continued to look for an alternative.

Solution

Using Martello’s Link Balancer enables organizations like Conrad Dubai to proactively manage traffic through multiple concurrent ISP or WAN links, and leverage unused bandwidth to avoid adding new links. Deploying a LBX device from Martello allowed the hotel to save on its monthly bandwidth. Adding more circuits can be done seamlessly and easily, on demand, without having to worry about unused bandwidth, and can be put to use from the very moment it is hooked up to the Link Balancer.

Why HSIA Matters to Hospitality

To keep up with guest demand and deliver reliable HSIA, hundreds of properties have come to rely on Martello’s SD-WAN Solutions.

SD-WAN: Affordable, Efficient HSIA

SD-WAN solutions like Martello’s provide flexible, affordable and efficient management of multiple Internet links. These solutions address the network performance challenges of real-time communications, transforming the guest experience. Using Internet links from multiple sources on multiple technologies, Internet access uptime can reach 99.999%, ensuring connectivity for demanding business customers and guaranteeing future business for hotels. There is an overall cost reduction by removing some of the more expensive links, such as T1’s, and combining them with low-cost DSL or cable modems. Properties can deliver on the promise of constant and reliable Internet access while reducing monthly operating costs.

Unified Communications (UC) Performance Management: Reliable Communications Around the Clock

Using link aggregation and SD-WAN technologies, hotel operators are able to efficiently monitor and maintain a state-of-the art network while at the same time saving time on the cost of bandwidth. By pairing that solution with performance management software, hotels can truly transform the guest experience by optimizing real-time traffic such as VoIP. Martello’s Vantage suite includes UC Network Health Testing and a network site qualification tool called UCScore, ensuring that hospitality providers can prevent, detect and address network problems impacting UC performance, and have them resolved before they can impact the guest experience.

See Martello at HTNG Europe – October 22 – 24 – Lisbon, Portugal

At Martello, we are excited to attend HTNG Europe taking place on October 22 – 24 in Lisbon Portugal. At the show you can find us at table #9 at the conference. If you are planning on attending HTNG Europe, be sure to drop by and see us or book some time to meet with us onsite.

Additional Resources