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The Future of Networking Will Be Written By the Leaders
Jim Rapoza
SEP 22, 2015 19:50 PM
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The Future of Networking Will Be Written By the Leaders

by Jim Rapoza

         

 

One of my favorite bands of all time is The Clash, and a famous quote attributed to their late band leader Joe Strummer is that “the future is unwritten.” And in most cases that is very true. For example, few people in 2005 could have successfully predicted many of the trends and realities of today, whether in the everyday world or in the realm of technology.

But while the future may be unwritten, sometimes we do have a pretty good roadmap as to where it’s headed. And this is certainly the case when it comes to networking technologies, and how organizations will leverage emerging trends to drive their business and improve innovation and productivity.

Right now, we are on the cusp of one of, if not the, biggest transformations to hit network technology in its history. Technologies like Software Defined Networking (SDN), big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are altering the very nature of how networks work, and are putting huge demands on bandwidth, reliability, and performance that traditional networking infrastructures won’t be able to handle.

With SDN, networks are becoming programmable in much the same way that applications are. This will radically change how networks behave, making them more dynamic, flexible, and powerful, and able to change their very nature and characteristics based on specific types of users, traffic, and data.

And that traffic and data is changing fast as well. The rise of cloud computing has already changed how services and applications are deployed, moving from old-school data centers and services to businesses where some things run in the cloud, on traditional servers, and on hybrid private/public cloud infrastructures. And old-school networks are already stressed in dealing with this hybrid cloud world.

But that’s just the beginning. Big data analytics lets organizations take all of the data that is created in every aspect of their business and analyze it in real-time in order to innovate and gain business advantages. This is key for organizations that can utilize big data, but if their network isn’t ready for this huge influx of traffic, it could greatly reduce the value of these analytics.

And when we talk about huge influxes of traffic, the biggest challenge will probably be the IoT. Modern networks are already stressed by the large numbers of smartphones, tablets, traditional PCs, and other devices that connect to them. Add millions of little devices constantly chattering over the network — and you have a recipe for disaster.

But with great challenges come great possibility. Aberdeen research has shown that businesses taking advantage of new network technologies can experience their own kind of positive transformation. By being ready for what the future of networks holds, they are positioning themselves to better leverage innovation and grow their business.

Or to pull a famous quote from the Terminator movies, “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”

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