Networking Technologies You Can Expect to See in 2020
Digitization of previously manual processes will be driving the need for faster network speeds and new services. Many of these technologies will be implemented into the LAN/WAN, while others are more cloud- and service provider-oriented. Regardless, these technologies can enhance visibility, speed of deployment, and ultimately drive business productivity well into the next decade.
Here's a look at the top networking technologies and architecture trends you should expect to start seeing in 2020 and beyond.
- Network automation. The demand for rapidly deployed networking services is beginning to outpace a network team's availability to execute on those requests. Fortunately, network automation tools are coming to the rescue. With these tools you can automate some of the repeatable network configurations, validation testing, duplicate deployments and operational management tasks to focus security and other strategic initiatives.
- 5G for branch office connectivity. 5G is going to create a boom in the volume of high-speed traffic that happens at the edge of the network in 2020. This is largely being looked at from a mobile device connectivity perspective. While important, the new wireless technology will also enhance enterprises from a branch office perspective. Beginning in 2020, look for network vendors to begin integrating 5G into their cellular branch office gateways. This will allow the rapid deployment of remote sites which offer data speeds that rival far more expensive wired broadband alternatives. For businesses that need to be able to quickly spin up an office – or require the ability to move an office at a moment's notice rapidly, 5G will be a game-changing technology.
- IoT network segmentation and monitoring. IoT is coming to your office in 2020 in one way or another. Because of IoT security concerns, the virtual segmentation of IoT devices from the rest of the network will be a major task for the network department. The creation of secure zones – called microsegments – will allow for IoT devices to operate on the same corporate network while also lessening the risk to other parts of the network. Then, once implemented, it's likely that the monitoring of IoT devices will fall on the network team to implement. Being able to view end-to-end IoT monitoring will not only help with improving performance, but it will also help to ensure that IoT devices haven't been compromised by identifying when IoT device communication veers from the norm.
- Network analytics. If there’s one thing that IoT has shown the enterprise is that there's a wealth of valuable data being collected, but if it's not used to help a business gather insights and better cater to their clients, then it's a pointless exercise. Big data and advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have progressed to the point where the two can be used to provide unprecedented levels of network performance health information. This data should be available to you and should be drivers for your strategic IT decisions for years to come.
- Edge computing. This is the concept of taking compute and data much closer to the end-user when compared to traditional cloud computing. This is gaining more traction recently due to the buzz of 5G. Doing so significantly reduces bandwidth costs while also lowering network latency. Network carriers are expected to begin rolling out edge services to customers beginning in 2020. This is already gaining momentum for a number of enterprises as they continue to decentralize their networks. Core business applications can't afford latency, so processing power must continue to shift to the edge and partners can help enterprises build these next-generation, agile networks.