Top Trends Impacting the Network in 2010

As network professionals around the world toast the close of 2009, Network Instruments is predicting the trends and technologies ahead of us in 2010.

On the Rise

Virtualisation Shifts to the Desktop – In a year where network teams will be looking to save the time and money it takes to manage users, we will see the extension of virtualisation to the user desktop. The increased use of mobile devices, for both business and personal use, will also drive network teams to consider virtual desktops as an easy way to secure and manage access to company data and applications.

Video over IP Comes of Age – The move by larger video teleconferencing vendors, including Cisco and Polycom, to offering video conferencing packages at all price points will drive video conferencing into the mainstream. This will be supported by the current economy, which is forcing companies to rethink the way employees collaborate and find alternatives to air travel. Increases in network bandwidth capacity, and familiarity with VoIP, means network teams are looking to video.

Truly Unified Platforms – Unified Communications has evolved from a concept into a true communications management platform. Companies including Microsoft and Cisco no longer offer disparate solutions; instead they are offering single platforms combining everything from VoIP and video conferencing to instant messaging. The availability and adoption of such platforms will increase in 2010 as businesses continue to find cost-effective forms of collaboration.

WAN Acceleration – WAN accelerators have grown considerably in usage over the last two years, with the most rapid growth expected in 2010. The devices provide immediate ROI for most companies and are easy to implement. With increased server consolidation and more users working remotely, the need for acceleration will also increase.

Rebirth of Monitoring and Analysis – Rather than rip and replace, companies are looking to optimise what they have; increasingly realising the importance of monitoring. This has been instrumental to maximising existing infrastructure and network performance. In 2010 businesses will build on this, consolidating multiple monitoring tools into a single platform.

Netbooks Break Into Business – Small, light and intelligent, netbooks will provide the flexible and portable access device needed for mobile business and / or remote troubleshooting. They are cost effective and support the growing use of web-based applications.

Operating Systems: A Third Way? – Google Chrome will make a strong move into the OS market. Many organisations are looking for an alternative to Windows. While tempted by Mac, costs remain an issue, leaving an opening for a third OS player. Whilst Linux variants have made moves on the server side, they lack the marketing to migrate to the desktop.

On the Demise

Death of Traditional WAN – The fall of traditional WAN technologies has been a long time coming, but 2010 will see the acceleration of their demise. As companies migrate to MPLS and Ethernet, few T1 or D3 connections will remain. Some organisations will have a DS3 line providing WAN services, but it’s more likely to be an Ethernet link throttled back to the equivalent of DS3 speed.

IT Jargon Past Its Prime

The following phrases are overused and are too broadly defined, rendering them useless:

Web 2.0 – This term should have left on the Information Superhighway.

Cloud Computing – The catch-all phrase for internet-based computing covers so much its been rendered meaningless.

Xxxx-Killer – iPhone-Killer, Windows 7-Killer, Xxxx-Killer. Naming a product a “killer” is the sure fire way to bury it. Zune, Segway, Windows Vista were suffocated by the weight of their hype and failed to deliver on marketing promises.