As the network increasingly becomes a platform for delivering a
plethora of services, we have seen a big jump in Internet traffic.
Additionally, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets,
increased traction in cloud services and virtualization, as well as
the growing popularity of IP voice and video have resulted in the
amount of data traffic increasing manifold. As the role of network
transforms, it is becoming central to establish connections between
people, devices, and information. Here are the top trends that we
foresee in networking in 2012:
1. Device and content agnosticism: The network
will unify wireless and wired access to support the proliferation
of devices ("bring your own device", or BYOD) and ubiquitous
mobility. Virtualization and cloud services will deliver content
whenever they provide a lower cost of ownership.
2. Video will be the cornerstone of
collaboration: Collaboration with customers, staff,
suppliers and other partners will grow, using video, data, and
voice communications on a variety of devices. There will be
increased emphasis on the ability to quickly and easily collaborate
no matter where people are will transform business processes. Video
will be the cornerstone of collaboration, for a range of
applications from social networking to smart connected
3. Network security: As the amount of data
increases, network security will gain prominence. We will see
convergence of elements such as firewalls, content security, and
policy and identity management. The result: seamless connections
and context-aware security that recognizes who you are, what you're
supposed to have access to, what device you're on, and where you
are globally. Additionally, IP based physical safety and security
will also continue to gain prominence.
4. Connected communities: As the global
population heads towards 7 billion, governments and urban planners
are looking for smarter ways to use available resources to deliver
more with less. Information technology is an important enabler of a
more sustainable approach to designing, building, and operating
cities. Smart and connected communities are no longer just a vision
but will increasingly become a reality.
5. Network technology architecture: It will
connect any device across any combination of networks, increase
cost efficiency by integrating network security and management, and
improve business processes, including energy management.
Architecture virtualization scales up the efficiency power of the
IT infrastructure significantly and enhances the performance of the
increasingly complex and consolidated systems.
6. Data Center consolidation: To ensure optimal
utilization of existing resources and assets, data center
consolidation will become important. Virtualization will play a big
role in the near future as IT organizations morph into more and
more of a services management framework.
The author is President and Country Manager, Cisco India