Those of you who follow me know that one of the milestones I have for SDN is when we start turning those unicorns into plough horses. While I don’t think we are quite there yet, the partner demos you can check out on the floor in Milan show that we are certainly moving the needle with SDN: Read More »
2014 will be a year that builds on the momentum of mobile, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE). How can your organization realize value from today’s new model for IT?
Here’s my take on the trends we will see over the next twelve months:
- Increasing urgency to manage our zettabyte-driven world.
- The need for hybrid cloud adoption.
- A revolution in software and new IoE platforms.
- The rise in thinking about security holistically.
- The Internet of Me finally arrives: real personalized, mobile, cloud-based experiences.
- The Internet of Everything is happening now.
If you think technology has infiltrated your life, just wait. You can feel the potential for monumental change as we begin to interconnect the physical and virtual worlds.
Read the full blog: Next Gen IT Predictions: 2014 and Beyond to learn more about each trend and discover how your organization can realize the benefits of the Internet of Everything.
In my travels, I am fortunate to see new and interesting innovations, emerging technologies and trends. Of course, the growth of mobile and cloud technologies continues to shape our work and lives. 2014 will be a year that builds on the momentum of these trends, along with IoT, with more connected people, processes data and things than ever before. Here’s my take on the most significant things we’ll see in 2014.
1. Increasing urgency to manage our zettabyte-driven world.
The proliferation of mobile devices, streaming video and explosion of applications has meant that global IP traffic has exploded more than 4x in the past 5 years. IP traffic will again triple over the next 5 years. In 2013, we generated a momentous 1.2 zettabytes of new information and 70 billion apps were downloaded. Wireless traffic will exceed wired traffic and video-on-demand traffic will nearly triple in three years.
Perhaps I’m in the minority that is still frustrated by this, but as a marketing person who is tasked with explaining technology and solutions to customers and prospects, I feel hamstrung by a lack of a widely agreed upon definition of what is and is not “SDN” still. This usually comes up in discussions about our new Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and how it compares to traditional SDN concepts, as well as alternative approaches, such as overlay networks advocated by VMware.
The topic came up again this week with a NetworkWorld article in which the head of VMware’s network virtualization business is now saying, “SDN will never happen” (our rebuttal). Well, what is happening, if it’s not SDN? Or just because the technology has evolved, do we need to create a new term just because some early assumptions the industry made have changed? As we start out a new year, I thought it a good time to try and reframe the definition, and look at how the trends in SDN may be shaping up to extend the concept into new areas.
Why do customers need SDN?
By early 2012, there was so much hype and expectations around Software Defined Networking, focused on the ability to “program” the network, that real customer use cases and the killer SDN app was lost in the conversation. But what slowly emerged, that is driving all the investment, pilots and product designs is a much better way to manage the data center and cloud network, and to automate IT tasks so that the infrastructure could respond dynamically to rapidly changing business conditions and requirements. The “intelligence” to make all that happen is moving from the network devices and device management consoles, to centralized policy-management platforms, orchestration tools and cloud-managers.
What’s caused the biggest evolution in SDN is the realization that very few organizations really have the desire, skills and incentives to write a new class of applications to a published API to program the network. These users are outlying use cases compared to the vast majority of organizations just looking to automate IT tasks, accelerate application deployment, make their cloud networks more flexible, and better align their IT infrastructure with business requirements. The focus has shifted from SDN being an open API/controller platform, to a platform capable of hosting a myriad of orchestration and IT workflow automation solutions that drive customers to their end goal. To that end, ACI is meeting all those objectives, and in more advanced and innovative ways than earlier SDN approaches.
My 2014 predictions are finally complete. If Open Source equals collaboration or credibility, 2013 has been nothing short of spectacular. As an eternal optimist, I believe 2014 will be even better:
- Big data’s biggest play will be in meatspace, not cyberspace. There is just so much data we produce and give away, great opportunity for analytics in the real world.
- Privacy and security will become ever more important, particularly using Open Source, not closed. Paradoxically, this is actually good news as Open Source shows us again, transparency wins and just as we see in biological systems, the most robust mechanisms do so with fewer secrets than we think.
- The rise of “fog” computing as a consequence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will unfortunately be driven by fashion for now (wearable computers), it will make us think again what have we done to give up our data and start reading #1 and #2 above with a different and more open mind. Again!
- Virtualization will enter the biggest year yet in networking. Just like the hypervisor rode Moore’s Law in server virtualization and found a neat application in #2 above, a different breed of projects like OpenDaylight will emerge. But the drama is a bit more challenging because the network scales very differently than CPU and memory, it is a much more challenging problem. Thus, networking vendors embracing Open Source may fare well.
- Those that didn’t quite “get” Open Source as the ultimate development model will re-discover it as Inner Source (ACM, April 1999), as the only long-term viable development model. Or so they think, as the glamor of new-style Open Source projects (OpenStack, OpenDaylight, AllSeen) with big budgets, big marketing, big drama, may in fact be too seductive. Only those that truly understand the two key things that make an Open Source project successful will endure.
- AI recently morphed will make a comeback, not just robotics, but something different AI did not anticipate a generation ago, something one calls cognitive computing, perhaps indeed the third era in computing! The story of Watson going beyond obliterating Jeopardy contestants, looking to open up and find commercial applications, is a truly remarkable thing to observe in our lifespan. This may in fact be a much more noble use of big data analytics (and other key Open Source projects) than #1 above. But can it exist without it?
- Finally, Gen Z developers discover Open Source and embrace it just like their Millennials (Gen Y) predecessors. The level of sophistication and interaction rises and projects ranging from Bitcoin to qCraft become intriguing, presenting a different kind of challenge. More importantly, the previous generation can now begin to relax knowing the gap is closing, the ultimate development model is in good hands, and can begin to give back more than ever before. Ah, the beauty of Open Source…
Tags: ai, AllSeen, big data analytics, Cloud Computing, cognitive computing, cyberspace, Fog computing, hypervisor, Inner Source, internet of things, IoT, meatspace, NFV, Open, open source, opendaylight, OpenStack, privacy, qCraft, robotics, SDN, security, transparency, virtualization