Planning Your Network Technology Future? Many Choices Ahead
by November 3, 2017

Filed under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology

The fall ONUG conference a few weeks back explored lots of emerging networking technology and trends. Here’s a good look into some of those, including network infrastructure consolidation, where SD-WAN functionality is packaged into a larger product that also offers routing, security and other features. Then there’s automation, which one expert argues is the only way for businesses to get to true standardization for software-defined infrastructures. Automating entire processes will be key to avoiding those pesky human errors that can too easily derail a workflow or task.

Fog computing isn’t the term for the confusion you may feel about your cloud pricing or visibility, but actually the idea of moving cloud computing closer to the devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Fog computing is essentially the same thing as edge computing—putting data close to the people who need to access it. With IoT on the rise—one survey finds that two-thirds of IT teams expect IoT spending to increase next year—the questions about how these devices will efficiently connect to each other and send data are important, and still in the process of being answered.

With all these shifts in how compute power is provided and managed, data centers keep evolving. When we talk about data center design these days, public cloud providers are really where it’s at for cutting-edge trends. The big providers like AWS, Google and Azure continue to add new zones and regions to serve customers. In doing so, they’re adding what’s called “distributed data center resiliency,” which generally describes new ways to build in resilience without spending a ton of money on full, active backup facilities. So, cloud-based resiliency that uses distributed, virtualized apps across multiple data centers could work well, and be effective—but for now is probably too costly and complicated for non-behemoth companies.

Finally, here’s a good look at the idea of hybrid cloud, which has already morphed from its original meaning into something a bit more fuzzy. Rather than businesses using a mix of private and public cloud services, the push now is toward multiple public cloud services, or some mix of hosted apps and on-premises apps—or both. This network expert considers it more like a “multiple cloud mindset,” where businesses are choosing the right cloud for the application depending on each app’s particular requirements. Of course, this quickly becomes a tangled web of things to manage. New tools are emerging under the area of cloud management platforms (CMP) to see various cloud platforms at once to abstract those app deployments and take away manual tasks from IT. This balance of big-picture IT strategy and manual, everyday tasks will continue to play out as the cloud market quickly matures.