Networking trends: 4 for 2014

More photos were shared, mobile phones were connected, data was moved, and clouds were deployed than ever before, all made possible by networks.

January 6, 2014

Networks had a big year in 2013. More photos were shared, mobile phones were connected, data was moved, and clouds were deployed than ever before, all made possible by networks. This unprecedented growth in connected devices, information and services put a lot of pressure on corporate networks, but demonstrated the strategic importance that the network plays in IT and in our daily lives.

2013 was also a big year for Dell Networking. We were named a Tech Innovator of the Year by CRN and awarded with a Best of Interop Special Prize at Interop Tokyo for our Dell Networking S5000 switch. End to end Dell solutions including Dell Networking helped Amerijet deliver shipments faster, bring Free Birds to the big screen, and design the America’s Cup finalist Emirates Team New Zealand multihull boat. We also introduced the industry’s highest-density 1RU 10/40GbE switching platform, the Dell Networking S6000.

2014 is poised to be an even bigger year for networks, perhaps “the year of the network”, when effective networks will make or break businesses and change the way we live our lives. These are the trends that Dell sees shaping the networking industry next year – our Networking 4 for ’14:

1. SDN – Its Defining Moment
In 2014, customers will want vendors to bring order to the chaos and show the industry how SDN should be implemented. In a fragmenting market with numerous open source and open standards efforts, and competing with vendor strategies, customers will vote with their wallets. Smart vendors will follow. Customers will force networking vendors to agree on a more co-operative, open approach that will make SDN practical and real.

2. 40 Is The New 10
The economics have changed and they are not changing back. The value in networking is no longer in the boxes – it is in the software. Year after year, fixed-form switches prove to be more power and space efficient than chassis platforms. In 2014, fixed form factor switches will continue to out-innovate the legacy chassis, providing server-like customization, upgrades and economics.

40GbE will go main stream as right-sizing of data centers continues. Customers can get more throughput today for half the cost that they paid just a few years ago. 40GbE holds the key to improved capacity and can provide a smooth upgrade path as the need for speedy network connections increases.

3. Hardware Silos Crumble for Good
Innovation has broken the 20 year old boundaries between server, storage and networking. Next-generation converged systems – both smaller and bigger and more targeted, to mainstream and mid-market – will continue to push the old siloes aside. 2014 is the year of the entire data center, not the year of server, storage or networking.

4. Lose the Wire – Campus Networks Get Turned Inside-Out
Wired switches in networking closets are in trouble. Businesses, schools, hospitals and individuals can’t survive on wired access alone. In 2014 will see a dramatic increase in next-generation WLAN innovation. It is all about wireless now.

We are excited to see what 2014 will bring in networking and want to hear from you. What are your biggest networking priorities next year? Connect with us @dellnetworking.