We are obligated to say that every year,2016 has been a fascinating year for networking but this year truly has seen some landmark innovations. The industry has made some great strides with digital transformation and Cisco has been at the forefront with multiple network innovations and awards.
1 – WAN Redesign: Many organizations are moving applications to the cloud, and will be making significant changes to their WAN architecture. The traditional “demilitarized zones” at their own data centers will be augmented, or in some cases replaced, by points-of presence hosted in co-lo facilities. Meaning, there is no need to back-haul cloud-destined traffic to the data center and then to the internet.
2 – NFV Comes to the Enterprise: Virtualization is hot right now – and with good cause. We’re going to see Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) spread from service providers to the enterprise.It will allow those leading-edge network teams with a multitude of branches to more easily provision, chain and scale branch network services.
3 – IoT in the Carpeted World: The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming widely used in the operational technology (OT) part of the organization. Now COOs are beginning to see the value that IoT can bring to the workplace (the carpeted world). This can be via intelligent lighting, location services in the workplace or connected AC systems. Expect to see companies bringing together the myriad of “things” within their carpeted space and driving more consolidation—all enabled by better security mechanisms like segmentation and profiling.
4 – SDN Moves Beyond the Data Center: The seeds of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are already taking root in the data center and now the WAN. Expect the SDN seeds to start sprouting in campus fabrics for both wired and wireless environments. The vision of end-to-end programmability and automation across all network domains will start becoming a reality in 2017.
5 – Network Assurance Grows Up, Moves into the Cloud: Interesting opportunities are being enabled by machine learning. We’ll see much richer and more capable network assurance and troubleshooting capabilities. By delivering these capabilities from the cloud and leveraging the aggregated experiences of a broader set of networks, we’ll see much better (and faster) diagnosis and remediation.