Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
Last week, we discussed how the 2020 pandemic has shaped networking technology – particularly in providing cybersecurity for remote employees and physical safety for those in the building. As businesses adapt to changing ‘operations,’ experts are predicting networking technology trends emerging in 2021.
SD-WAN Consolidation – Although there are still stand-alone players on the market, mega incumbent networking vendors (such as HP and Ericsson) are acquiring leading SD-WAN companies. These consolidations are not incumbent vendors bolting on new technology from an agile startup. Rather, it’s two market leaders – one in the wireless space and one in the SD-WAN space – coming together to strengthen the positions of both their portfolios. It will increase user productivity by optimizing cloud and on-premises application performance with real-time analytics, visibility, and control, laying the foundation for secure access service edge (SASE).
The SASE Evolution – Designed to take SD-WAN further, SASE is an integration of connectivity and security. Rather than a “single” program, it is a hybrid cloud-based service –a package of technologies. SASE delivers policy-based networking and security services while utilizing cloud-native attributes of agility, scalability, and elasticity.
IoT/Edge Networking – IoT and cloud computing are increasing the need for edge devices, intelligence, computing power, and various advanced services at the network edge. With the rapid growth of internet-connected devices and new applications that require real-time computing power, edge networking provides essential interconnectivity. It promises to be one of the primary growth engines in the server and storage market.
5G – It goes beyond high speeds and low latencies, providing mission-critical services, enhanced mobile broadband, and massive IoT.
Networking automation and analytics – Though nothing new, automation and analytics will play a significant role in 2021. Morgan Stern, VP of Automation Strategy, Itential, predicts that “Business leaders will also recognize the need for a more strategic approach to automation, first by focusing on the overall business impact of automation, then by re-engineering processes, tool choices, and expectations to be more oriented to an automation-centric model.”
To summarize, network technology will continue to evolve as businesses’ needs grow and change, whether those changes are the result of a global pandemic or not. The key to success is riding with the wave into the future. As Chuck Robbins reminds us, “The opportunity we have is to build a secure, intelligent platform that solves some of the world’s greatest problems at scale. That’s what’s possible with hundreds of billions of connections and the capabilities that we can deliver together.”
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