4 Intriguing Network Trends of 2017

A look at four noteworthy networking trends from last year that will have long-lasting impact.

Terry Slattery

January 2, 2018

1 Min Read
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These four highly related trends will see the introduction of powerful new networking solutions.

SD-WAN popularity rises
Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) products continued to increase in popularity. Back in August 2016, I wrote a No Jitter post about how SD-WAN is a good way to start the path to software-defined networking (SDN). My advice is still accurate. You can reduce WAN connectivity costs, improve WAN performance, and manage a large set of devices from one management console. The centralized management functionality provides the most benefit. It's like getting network automation, SDN, WAN acceleration, and Internet VPN in one system.

SD-WAN products multiplex data over multiple physical links to provide better performance than available on dedicated links. The controller allows you to specify QoS characteristics that optimize the transfer of time-critical network traffic (such as voice and UC applications) so that bulk traffic doesn't impact it. Even more importantly, you can easily characterize unimportant traffic, marking its priority lower than any of your business traffic (I’m thinking of streaming music and video downloads as the unimportant traffic that often impacts business traffic).

There's a downside though. There are no SD-WAN interoperability standards, so each vendor’s product is unique in its functional details. But that’s no different than what you would find from WAN accelerators, so it isn’t like you’ve given up functionality that you had with the prior generation of products.

The Data-Driven Network
I realized late this year that several products now stream analytics data from the network for use in improving the network and applications. I wrote about this relatively new development in the October post "Is the Data-Driven Network the Next Step in Networking?

Read the rest of this article on No Jitter.

About the Author(s)

Terry Slattery

Principal Architect, NetCraftsmenTerry Slattery is a principal architect at NetCraftsmen, an advanced network consulting firm that specializes in high-profile and challenging network consulting jobs. Terry is currently working on network management, SDN, business strategy consulting, and interesting legal cases. He is the founder of Netcordia, inventor of NetMRI, has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years, and is co-inventor on two patents. He has a long history of network consulting and design work, including some of the first Cisco consulting and training. As a consultant to Cisco, he led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Prior to Netcordia, Terry founded Chesapeake Computer Consultants, which became a Cisco premier training and consulting partner. At Chesapeake, he co-invented and patented the v-LAB system to provide hands-on access to real hardware for the hands-on component of internetwork training classes.Terry co-authored the successful McGraw-Hill text "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," is the second CCIE (1026) awarded, and is a regular speaker at Enterprise Connect and Interop.

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