2017 will be continuation of the trends that we have seen in the past few years. Networking is a conservative area that works well, so people don't have a sudden urge to rip and replace their infrastructure.
Here are three areas that I think will undergo rapid change in 2017.
Networking in Remote Offices and SD-WAN
Apps continue to move to the cloud, all those people in remote offices are not accessing data center apps exclusively. What started out as a simple way to reduce bandwidth costs by combining old but reliable MPLS networks with fast, cheap but maybe not so reliable broadband networks has morphed into something more complex. A more holistic view is in the cards, and traditional WAN optimization companies have started to enter the field.
Cyber Security and Networking
Cybersecurity continues to be top of mind for IT managers, and networking is right smack in the middle, since the network is like the nervous system that connects all the elements of IT infrastructure. We see many traditional network tools that are being used for better network visibility – all the network TAPs and analysis products from specialists IXIA, Gigamon, NetScout, Riverbed, and Viavi will be critical tools to give insight into the network and improve security. Traditional firms like Arista, Cisco, HP Aruba, & Juniper are also putting efforts into telemetry and visibility. I expect this area to continue in 2017.
Networking is important in cloud computing for two reasons. One is to tie modern cloud apps that are built on containers and microservices. The standards are still changing and we expect 2017 to see some convergence between various container networking standards. Finally, cloud networking to tie together VPCs and on-premises data centers will be an interesting area of development. Solutions from startups like Aviatrix, as well as established software vendors like VMware, through its NSX everywhere initiative, will be worth keeping an eye on.
Watch the video for more of my thoughts on Networking in 2017.