2014 was a year of incredible achievement in the world of networking, both for Dell and others in our industry. Among our own accomplishments was the introduction in January of the world’s first major disaggregation of Networking initiative called open networking.
In the wake of such a landmark year for networking, it’s awe-inspiring to think of how many boundaries the industry will continue to push in the coming months. Networking is becoming more open, simpler and more affordable for companies of all sizes, but we predict 2015 will be a particularly historic year for enterprises of all sizes.
- Open networking kicks open the doors of IT for good – The broader availability and acceptance of networking products that disaggregate hardware and software will lead to a new era of open networking. As companies like Dell continue to release new, open networking platforms, other industry behemoths will begin to follow suit, leading to a full-scale disruption of the networking supply chains and software delivery models of the past.
- Hyper-convergence goes beyond the hype – In 2015, infrastructure that converges storage, server and networking will make the leap from science fiction to mainstream reality. We announced our hyper-converged PowerEdge FX2 technology at Dell World 2014 to great excitement from customers and industry thought leaders alike. Next year, this and other high-density technologies will reach widespread adoption within SMBs, bringing a new era of physical density to complement the revolutionary densities already provided by virtualization.
- New performance multiples – Multi-rate Ethernet will enable new performance multiples including 25G in Data Centers with a more customizable, economical way to scale their infrastructure. Companies are increasingly relying on Wi-Fi to power today’s mobile workforces. In support of this shift, we’ll start to see Ethernet cables appear in speeds other than the standard multiples of 10.
- SMB networking becomes invisible – The widespread adoption of BYOD policies is only one indicator of SMBs’ current focus on rolling back cords and simplifying their in-house IT. 2015 will see SMBs increasingly turning to “easy-button” IT options, including Wi-Fi-driven networking (to reduce cabling) and outsourced cloud storage via Microsoft Azure or other all-in-one solutions (to reduce infrastructure and in-house responsibility).
- IT organizations and credentials take new forms – Just as IT roles changed dramatically in the transition from mainframe to distributed and dedicated servers, organizational structures will be disrupted once again as we fully enter the new era of virtualization and software as a service. Where data center functions have previously relied on admins with highly-specialized certifications, new technologies — primarily convergence and virtualization — have made it possible for organizations to no longer focus so much on which specific infrastructure piece they have but on what they are able to do with the whole. The availability of outsourced IT providers like Azure, AWS and Google will further reduce the need for on-site specialists, supplanting the demand for network engineers with a new demand for application engineers.
We are eager and excited to be part of the coming networking revolution. What are your biggest networking priorities for 2015? Let us know on Twitter.