Networking 2016: The Year In Review

A look back at a year filled with hot startups, Facebook networking innovations, and SD-WAN.

Marcia Savage

December 13, 2016

10 Slides

The networking industry has been anything but dull for several years now and 2016 was no exception. Although the hype around software-defined networking has quieted, the industry continued to evolve at a rapid clip with the arrival of new technologies, companies and approaches to networking.

There was seemingly no end to innovation, as this year saw a flurry of startups launch into the networking market with products that promise to revolutionize the industry. Boasting leadership with impressive track records, including pioneering work in software-defined networking, several of these new companies tout solutions for simplifying the job of designing and managing networks.

Also this year, Facebook ramped up its homegrown approach to networking with a routing platform, a network troubleshooting system, and its second-generation modular switch platform. Facebook also kept sharing its networking designs so others can use them – its 100-gigabit Wedge switch was accepted by the Open Compute Project. While the impact of the internet giant's networking accomplishments on enterprise networking remains to be seen, there's no doubt that Facebook's trailblazing is rattling the traditional networking industry.

While buzz around general SDN has quieted to more of a low hum perhaps tinged with some disillusionment, software-defined WAN grabbed the spotlight as industry pundits talked up its potential to streamline the tricky business of enterprise WANs. IDC believes the SD-WAN market will reach $6 billion in 2020 as enterprises look to streamline their WAN infrastructure as they transition to more cloud-based applications.

Meanwhile, Cisco and Arista continued their legal battle, compromised IoT devices went on the attack, and the WLAN market continued to consolidate. Continue on to review some of the memorable developments in networking this year.

(Image: Toria/Shutterstock)

About the Author(s)

Marcia Savage

Executive Editor, Network Computing

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