5 Key Trends to Keep IT Managers Awake at Night

Posted on April 15, 2018

5 Key Trends To Keep It Managers Awake At Night

What will the networks of the future look like? The IT industry’s relentless pace of innovation makes predictions difficult, but here are five key trends to watch.

1. Intent-based networking

Intent-based networking was a major theme of the CiscoLive conference in Melbourne in March 2018. The concept of self-managing networks is nothing new, but rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are now bringing the theory closer to reality.

Intent-based networking promises a world where network managers define the high-level business policy they want, and the network autonomously creates the desired state and enforces the required policies.

By automating many tedious and routine tasks and performing them far faster and more reliably than humans could, self-managing networks can drive down IT Administration, and free finite IT resources to better focus on developing platforms and services to meet the demands of their internal customers.

Fully self-managed, self-healing and self-defending networks may still currently seem far-fetched, but in the long term the technology will soon be knocking on the door of CIOs.

2. Hyperconvergence

Hyperconvergence is a hot topic. These platforms eliminate the silos between storage, computing and networking. By combining these functions in a single virtualised solution, they commoditise underlying hardware and reduce data centre complexity and increase scalability.

Vendors currently competing in this space include HP, Dell, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Lenovo, Nutanix, Pivot3, Cohesity, HyperGrid and Maxta.

Additionally, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 20 percent of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure.

3. Security

As ever, security remains a paramount issue for network managers. Cybercrime — such as data theft, ransomware and hacking — is at an all-time high. In terms of Australia’s new privacy laws introduced in 2018, enterprises risk fines of over $2 million for failing to handle data breaches correctly.

Mobile devices and cloud storage have made cybersecurity more complex and costly than ever. Now advancing IoT implementation brings new security challenges. By some predictions, 125 Billion IoT devices will be in use by 2030, and hackers will seek to exploit these new, potentially insecure endpoints that will be added to networks. The recent Github attack maxed out at a mind-boggling 1.35 Tbps! This is the stuff of IT Manager nightmares.

The current siloed, vendor-specific approach to IoT security creates loopholes, so network security will have to be addressed as a total framework to offer robust protection regardless of devices attached.

4. Computing at the edge

There are now around 400 hyperscale data centres worldwide. These are operated primarily by the world’s leading cloud providers, such as Amazon/AWS, Microsoft, IBM and Google.

While the growth of the cloud is driving data storage consolidation, at the same time interest is growing in the potential for mini and micro data centres to improve network performance, particularly to support the explosive growth of Internet of Things devices.

Placing computing resources at the network edge, where end users and devices are located, means services can be scaled more rapidly and cost-effectively.

Small self-contained data centres are scalable, customisable and cost-effective. The promise of low-latency networks that small data centres and edge computing offer has great appeal for providers of bandwidth-hungry services.

The challenge here is to architect high performance, secure and cost-effective networks to ensure IoT platforms delivers to business, but more importantly, consumer expectations.

5. Data volumes

Global IP traffic is growing at 24 percent a year, and monthly IP traffic is predicted to reach 35 GB per capita by 2021, up from 13 GB per capita in 2016. So-called “busy hour traffic”, or peak demand, is growing even faster, at over 50 per cent a year.

This explosion in data volumes will only accelerate with the continuing proliferation of technologies such as streaming entertainment, IoT, industrial automation and robotics, driverless cars, telemedicine, virtual and augmented reality etc.

The performance benefits of 5G, will place new demands on fixed networks. Enterprises will require access to the very best-quality fibre networks to harness the full potential of new markets and technologies.

Speak to the network experts at Vocus about how their state-of-the-art international fibre network can keep your enterprise up to speed with the rest of the world.

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