Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology will be deployed big-time, allowing wireless access points, VoIP phones, and many other devices to be used with less hassle and expense, because they can get electricity and Ethernet connectivity from the same cable. Electricians unions across the country walk out in protest.
Enterprises Embrace Mobility
So far, corporations have only grudgingly incorporated WiFi, 3G, IP VPNs, and other technologies designed for mobile workers. In 2005, enterprises finally get it, and start designing networks around mobile and out-of-office workers. Yes, we know this conflicts with our first Security prediction, but look for both of these trends to happen simultaneously anyway.
Linux Becomes a Core Part of the Network
Everyone loves to talk about Linux, but not that many people actually do anything about it. In 2005, Linux will accelerate its move toward the center of the enterprise network, and become the operating system of choice not just for pilot programs, but for mission-critical applications.
Intelligence Thrives at the Edge
The core of the network is no longer where it's atthe network edge is the next frontier. Intelligence gets built increasingly into devices at the network edge.