Networking is a conservative area, but it has been undergoing many changes in the last few years. Here are some of my thoughts for 2018. I include an obligatory discussion of SD-WAN since I like to cover it, but who can avoid talking about the cloud (and the cloud is a major driver for SD-WAN)?
I will focus on what you ought to look at and perhaps it will affect your purchase, architecture or deployment decisions.
- SD-WAN - We will probably see a choice of deployment models between three different deployment methods (DIY, Managed Service Provider, Major Telcos), which may change the way the products evolve and are used.
- Cloud, visibility, and networking - what do you need to get an understanding of the network for service assurance? Do you have visibility with networking in cloud? Help is already on the way, with solutions such as those from Netscout, providing visibility in the cloud in a consistent way with on-premises infrastructure. We expect these solutions to become further available in 2018.
- Cloud networking - Do you have good connectivity so that your on-premises workloads connect efficiently and quickly to the public cloud? Do you want adjacency to major cloud providers (fewer hops, high bandwidth) by being in a major colocation facility (think of Equinix, for example), or do you want to find a way to even split workloads so you can choose the right networking provider that has good connectivity characteristics?
All of these are food for thought in the year to come. Please let us know what you think, and I hope they help with your planning during 2018.