Top Trends in Networking for 2008

December 12, 2007 by Stephen Brown

Crystal BallPut down your eggnog for a moment and please turn your eyes toward center stage. The lights dim and “The Final Countdown” begins.

It’s with much fanfare that I give you our thoughts on the top trends and technologies that will shape networking in the new year.

1. Retrospective Network Analysis
Similar to TiVo or Sky+ changing the way we watch television, RNA is changing network troubleshooting. In 2008, RNA goes mainstream.

2. Steady Adoption of 10 GbE and MPLS
This year saw steady adoption of 10 GbE and MPLS technologies by enterprise, and the trend will continue in 2008.

3. Collaborate and Listen
The phrase many organizations like to use is “unified communications”. This describes having all communication tools from web-based applications to IM and VoIP integrated together to facilitate project collaboration. While unified communications enhances business processes, it can overwhelm networks when application performance isn’t closely monitored.

4. Virtualization
Everyone’s aware of virtualization. As organizations harness the benefits of virtual consolidation, they will also tackle new monitoring and troubleshooting problems.

5. High-Level Reporting Integrates with In-Depth Packet Analysis
High-level reporting offers quick problem detection, and in-depth packet analysis identifies the cause. An integrated solution takes the time and guess work out of troubleshooting by having the tools necessary to spot performance problems and Expert Analysis to resolve the issue.

6. Track Everything
Whether for compliance enforcement, eDiscovery, or network troubleshooting, more organizations are implementing tools that record and store every packet traversing the network. With storage costs decreasing and the need to produce electronic evidence increasing, this trend of long-term storage will continue.

7. High-Level Reporting Integrates with In-Depth Packet Analysis
While high-level reporting has evolved significantly giving network professionals an understanding of overall network performance and health, organizations want to seamlessly drill-down to perform root-cause analysis. High-level reporting offers quick problem detection, and in-depth packet analysis identifies the cause.

8. Blurring of Business and Personal Application Demands on IT
While the blurring of personal and business applications began with the Blackberry and iPod, the trend will accelerate as employees use new hybrid devices like the iPhone. Although some of these devices can be used in business, they can present new security risks and network use implications that will need to be considered.

Over the next week we’ll be looking at each one of the 8 trends and technologies and exploring how they’ll impact networking and network analysis next year.