To survive and thrive in 2007, infrastructure pros must prepare for and adapt to a shifting landscape. New and expensive technologies, such as unified communications, network access control, the expanding distributed enterprise and fatter applications are stretching IT dollars thin, increasing management overhead and placing performance demands on networks.
Unlike past years, when vendors focused on increasing speeds or selling new must-have devices, 2006 was characterized by consolidation. One example: the merging of AFEs (application front ends) and WAFS (wide-area file systems). The so-called branch office in a box includes features such as routing, switching, wireless access, network storage and DNS/DHCP. Appliances and management products also are coming to the fore for DNS and DHCP--both more critical than ever given the growth of VoIP and NAC.