According to Ovum senior analyst enterprise market Asia-Pacific, Claudio Castelli, the big technologies to hit businesses around networking have been centred on the convergence of applications.
“There are two main things happening that we see from a technology point of view. One is that the infrastructure is getting much more available, and the networks are getting faster. We also see what is called a multiple dimension convergence, which means that while the network is being used for data, it is also now being used for real-time applications such as voice and video, and other kinds of collaboration and communication,” Castelli said.
“It’s also happening across the digital mobile networks in the public and profile domain, so the complexity of the network is increasing. As companies are becoming more global and more mobile, and struggling to control costs, we are seeing a growing demand for cost management tools. At the same time, there is a need to keep the company data safe and protected, and keeping the interface simple for the users.”
Castelli said significant vendors around these networking trends in 2008 were Cisco, Nortel and Alcatel-Lucent.
“Looking at 2008, the big high point in technology development is the life-size video collaboration, with Cisco especially pushing telepresence,” he explained. “The driver behind that is the global economic crisis – companies experiencing cost savings problems are looking to cut expenses, starting with travelling. It’s difficult to measure the extent of the growth, but it’s a technology that has been growing over the last year.”
Other significant networking developments this year have been around VPNs. “In terms of VPNs within an enterprise environment, the basic applications are still dominating, with the biggest traffic being carried over VPNs is the email. Then you see web and Internet browsing, and then business applications such as SAP and Oracle, as well as the growing demand for voice and video streaming,” Castelli said.
“What companies are using more and more to interconnect the various locations is the MPLS VPNs. There is a growing incidence of that.” Not all new networking technologies have taken off, Castelli claimed, with some mobile networking technologies proving too problematic for application.
“Last year, we did a survey that many companies are willing to deploy voice over Wi-Fi, but we have found that it hasn’t taken off,” he said. “The companies we have spoken to have found some technical issues, in terms of the battery of the remote handsets.”