Same brand equipment avoids same old problems
Earlier this month we kicked off our campaign for ‘Smart Networking’ in the Smart Home, a subject extremely close to our hearts, thanks to our vast experience working in the Enterprise IT sector.
In our introductory post, “Why Smart Homes Need Smart Networks”, we made the point that generally Smart Home ‘core habitation services’ such as, lighting & heating and sensing, have always been simple to deploy, reliable and relatively management free. This is only possible because such services run on closed, tightly vendor-specified control networks.
Devices such as CCTV, video entertainment systems and multi room audio, on the other hand, are required to be situated on the home network, so well outside the comparative safety of the Smart Home’s closed control network. It’s a real risk, then, that your ‘home network’ becomes your Smart Home’s ‘out of control network’.
To prevent this, Smart Home networks must therefore operate just like control networks do. They must be tightly specified, configured, managed and completely secure – that’s the only way to guarantee reliable and safe Smart Home operations.
In our first post, “Smart Home networking fact 1”, we made the simple point that, although it is not necessary to ‘be’ an IT manager to create a Smart Home, you would end up with a much better network (and therefore a much better Smart Home), if you could adopt an IT Manager type of mindset.
For Smart Home Networking fact 2, it is in this mindset that we remain, as the topic of this post is an absolute IT classic, and one we have found sadly missing from many Smart Home Networking installations we have been invited to work on; standardisation.
Now we’d go as far to wager that you’d be extremely hard pressed to find a good IT Manager that would admit to spending any time ‘thinking’ about standardisation. It is such common practice to choose in-common equipment to prevent all too common problems – handing over a copy of Windows 10 to install from pallet load of 2, 778, 3.5” floppy disks… would probably be LESS offensive than asking an IT Manager whether or not he/she had at any time considered standardising on network equipment.
Smart Homes need a network that works, not a ‘notwork’ that doesn’t
It should be obvious then, that if you build a Smart Home network on a bric-o-brac of budget brand equipment, it will most likely succumb to the laws of the lowest common denominator. Or to put it another way, a home network will only ever be as smart as the dumbest network device you place on it.
Standardising on network equipment is the textbook first move from the IT pro’s playbook because doing so vastly improves manageability, monitorability and ease of configuration. These are the building blocks which allow us to create the ultimate ‘Pineapple Network’ – hard and unforgiving on the outside (secure), sweetness and sunshine on the inside (reliable & capable). In networking terms, you only need ‘one a day’ and that’s a Pineapple.
So, we have established that smarter networks are standardised networks. Now, what to standardise with?
At ACC HAUS we’ve done the in-depth research for you and we’d like to recommend Allied Telesis as your preferred Smart Home networking equipment vendor.
Allied Telesis are the perfect fit for Smart Home networking, because in our view, they are the only networking vendor that offers the ‘holy trinity’ of reliability, capability and security, at a fraction of the price of other well-known, high specification Enterprise brands like Cisco. Unlike many network equipment vendors, Allied Telesis also have a huge advantage, in that their product range offers a fully integrated network solution that includes next generation firewalling, switching and wireless devices. In the clear majority of cases, their products also share a same common operating system, called AlliedWare™ Plus.
We must encourage you to go far beyond simply standardising the brand of product. To get maximum impact from standardisation, we not only want to better control how devices work as individuals, ideally we want to control how these devices work together. So standardisation better enables integration, and it is integration that is the key to achieving true network automation, a mandatory characteristic of a ‘Smart Network’.
We’ll be covering exactly this topic, integration, in our next post for Smart Home Networking Fact 3!
“Selecting a single network equipment vendor will make it a lot easier for you to build yourself a ‘Pineapple Network’ for your Smart Home. We sell many different brands, but for Smart Homes we only recommend Allied Telesis. Standardising on Allied Telesis products enables us to deliver secure and sweet Smart Home firewalling, switching and wireless functionalities, enabling us to give our Smart Home customers, the smarter networks they deserve.”