Tricia Png, Director of Asia, Silver Peak, shares the top technology trends we should be looking out for in 2015:
1. Dual homed branch 99+99 = 99.99 — Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is not the only option for 99.99 percent service availability. A combination of two Internet connections is faster, cheaper and can deliver equivalent or better availability and quality.
Internet connections such as cable, DSL and 4G LTE are becoming more compelling from a price point of view, even though they may be of lower quality on their own. But when combined, the characteristics of two such connections can provide the same kind of quality MPLS does, as long as an appropriate path control technology is used.
New Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions with dynamic path control make dual Internet connectivity simple to deploy and manage. 2015 will be the year of the dual-homed branch, as a real erosion of the MPLS-only approach in the branch will emerge.
2. 4G LTE for branch connectivity — 4G LTE can deliver the bandwidth needed in the branch and can be priced based on usage, making it an ideal solution for fallback link technology.
Although the cost per bit for 4G LTE may be higher than other services, there are some usage-based plans where pricing is based on pay-per-use. This is a great trait for backup technology as businesses can plan for the few days in a year when their primary Internet or MPLS service might be unavailable.
In addition, using 4G LTE is 'instant on', so it is a fast way of enabling new locations. Think outside the phone — it is Mi-fi for the branch!
3. Software defined WAN gets teeth — Software defined WAN (SD-WAN) moves rapidly, from initial concept in mid-last 2013, to production deployments during 2015. While SDN remains elusive in the data center, SD-WAN is real and revolutionizes the way companies connect branch users with applications.
SD-WAN is all about peeking outwards — at the connectivity from outside the data center up to the branches — and looking at how some of the principles fundamental to SDN can be applied to the WAN. More people are realizing that the WAN is an easier place to innovate and an easier place for this technology to be adopted outside than in the data center.
4. Networking as software — The network software revolution continues with layers 4 to 7 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communication model at the forefront. Even network stalwarts are releasing software versions of their legacy products. Companies on the leading edge are also shipping more than 75 percent of their products as software, offering a barometer of where the broader market is likely to go in the next couple of years.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.