Vendors talk: Expert predictions

Vendors talk: Expert predictions

Cisco Australia and New Zealand director channel operations, Michael Lehmann 1. Business video is the new voice and will continue to drive significant growth 2. Energy efficiency for networking will become a significant driver of enterprise decisions 3. Understanding of the importance of networking as a compute platform will increase 4. Customers will increasingly demand networking architectural designs as a precursor to buying equipment 5. More than 50 per cent of all networking equipment will be sold with managed services attached by the end of FY11 6. Partners will see an increase in networking profitability through increasing sales

HP networking director, South Pacific, Darren Read Innovations in technology are continuing to grow in 2010, despite a shaky economy in 2009. However, to prepare for the future, businesses need to adopt solutions today that allow them to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable economy. Data centre convergence – the integration of networking, servers and storage – enables all resources to be shareable and expandable to meet new and changing application demands.

Enterprises will be looking for more choice when considering networking solutions. The combination of increasing expectations for a more responsive infrastructure to meet rapidly altering business needs, and the more challenging economic climate will drive fresh innovations. As a result, vendors will need to adopt a strong, business-focused approach to network design.

The following trends are what HP Networking believes will affect the enterprise in 2011:

  • Data Centre Convergence: Virtualisation has changed how companies approach different components of the data centre within their organisation. Companies will need to be able to match network capability with new or updated technologies created to maximise convergence. The future will see the true convergence of compute, storage and networking in the data centre. This convergence will fundamentally redefine how systems are constructed, operated and managed.

  • Desktop Virtualisation: Moving forward, desktop virtualisation will increase with virtual machines becoming the norm as the personal computing platform. A converged infrastructure will help easily expand virtualisation to the client side, ultimately providing improved manageability and security with tools to comply with regulations and business continuity in the event of disaster, data loss or workforce interruption. Business risk will go down and end-user productivity will go up.

  • Wireless: The convenience and utility of new mobile-based technologies is pushing the industry to become a wireless world. However, the world will never be able to go completely wireless, because of the need to move massive amounts of data and the fact that wireless communication consumes both space and power.

  • Network Intelligence: With the internet model, network intelligence is thought to be best positioned within the endpoints. However, the model is stressed by contradictory implementations of security and quality-of-service. The question arises of what network intelligence will look like in the future, and companies will need to determine if they want to sacrifice innovation from differentiated network services vs. a more secure network.

  • Internal Cloud: Instead of functioning in their traditional role, enterprise IT organisations will become the internal cloud provider to its users. This flexibility will allow users to move applications and services off to a provider’s network, internally or both, depending on what’s most cost effective. A handful of key enabling technologies will be required to support this seamless migration.

Riverbed managing director, Australia and New Zealand, Steve Dixon In the plumbing department of networking (routers, switches etc.) I think we will begin to see some significant changes to the default mode of "buy Cisco". With IBM and HP openly entering into competition with Cisco, customers are now beginning to have some real alternatives from equally large, credible organisations and after such an extended period of dominance, often marred by arrogance and bullying tactics, there is an appetite for change. It should also result in some substantial price dropping as the monopoly begins to crumble.

Cisco, of course, will come out fighting and we can expect to see a more direct sales model coming into play, which of course will have the effect of further upsetting an often disgruntled channel. Ultimately the consumers will benefit as more competition, better pricing and more responsible customer service provide improved value propositions.

Further up the stack, one of the key drivers for change will be the continued increase in mobility options. Improvements in 3G performance and the proliferation of "pad" type devices will see a growth spurt in "work-on-the-move, work-where-you-want" type behaviour and company policies and applications will adapt to accommodate that. The on-going push for increased performance and business continuity, improved service levels and security, increased volumes of data and throughput - yet reduced cost and support overhead - will continue to drive more intelligence in the networking and systems place. This will include improvements, greater standardisation and a wider adoption in application optimisation as well as improvements in application development to drive better behaviour over WAN links.

Bandwidth is a part of this. All Australian providers of network services – be those services NBN, wireless, cable or Ethernet-delivered - are promising to deliver increased bandwidth to their customers. There are, however, no such promises being made for reduction in latency (or the round trip time) for these services.

Cloud-based services, or centralisation of applications and information, only increases the distance between applications and users. So, in order to ensure users can access these services from anywhere and at any time, the impact of latency must be removed (or at least reduced). Which is where application acceleration – which does just that – comes in. Therefore, customers, network and cloud services providers will increasingly demand application acceleration as a standard part of their service.

Citrix director of product sales, Australia and New Zealand, Bede Hackney

WAN optimisation has been a growing technology for some time. In the course of the last decade the technology has transformed from simple bandwidth management, adding WAN acceleration to drive growth for early adopters. In recent years we’ve seen that trend garner far broader acceptance.

Citrix believes 2011 will be a key turning point for this market. As desktop virtualisation takes a significant foothold in customer IT strategies this will radically change the protocols that will be delivered across the wide area network. Traditional protocols that were previously the focus of WAN optimisation vendors, such as CIFS or MAPI, essentially become data centre only protocols when customers adopt desktop virtualisation. Traditional protocols will give way to desktop delivery protocols, such as ICA – making acceleration of desktop delivery protocols the main focus for WAN optimisation vendors next year and a key consideration for any customer evaluating a desktop virtualisation implementation.

Separately, as server virtualisation has been broadly deployed across enterprise data centres, many organisations are recognising one of the key benefits of being able to flexibly and dynamically move workloads and distribute them across the data centre. To date this flexibility on the server has been within the bounds of what is a relatively static networking infrastructure – however, 2011 will be the year that flexibility in the data centre extends to networking.

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Tags HPciscoCitrixD-LinkMaurice FamularoriverbedjabraDarren ReadBede HackneyMike PowreSteve DixonMichael Lehmann


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