Archive for February 2016

If you’re a physics fan like me, you’ll know the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that states you cannot know a particle’s exact location and velocity at the same time. If you shine a light on the particle to see where it is, you change the speed or direction causing a big problem for particle physicists.

The IT security environment has changed significantly over the past decade. Ten years ago, network security was certainly challenging but straightforward. Most organizations had a single network ingress/egress entry point and protected it with a high performance firewall.

With the current architecture in place for more than 30 years, the WAN certainly is ready for change.

I’ve been involved in networking for about 30 years now, having cut my teeth as an engineer during the Internet’s rise, when the constant stream of innovation made things really exciting. But then networking matured, and the industry settled into a period of relatively little innovation — let’s face it, a jump in speed is about as exciting as listening to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.

Things started to get interesting again about five years ago, with the idea of the software-defined network (SDN) giving rise to a bevy of networking startups. SDNs are threatening the status quo, promising to bring unparalleled levels of network agility alignment with applications and business processes. SDNs are a panacea to all network woes — or at least that’s what we’ve been told.

For all the hype, SDN deployments are still few and far between. Networking professionals who I know even joke that SDN actually stands for “still done nothing.”

Next month in Orlando, the business communications industry will be holding its largest show, Enterprise Connect. One of the big topics of the show has always been and will likely continue to be how we get all of these disparate unified communications (UC) solutions to work with each other. Often the integration is done at the user level where the worker needs to use multiple tools to collaborate effectively.

Disclaimer: Zeus Kerravala is an employee of ZK Research and his clients include Cisco and Avaya.

For Avaya resellers, SDNs provide an excellent opportunity to gain share on Cisco and the rest of the field. In the 2015 ZK Research Network Purchase Intention Study, 40% of organizations are willing to look at alternative network vendors for their SDN solution. With traditional network equipment, only 10% are willing to look at swapping out their incumbent. In networking, SDNs are the biggest, best opportunity for share gain.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to skyrocket over the next five years, with more than 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2025, according to market research firm ZK Research (Disclaimer: I am an employee of ZK Research), up from just 5 billion today. It seems that new IoT technologies and services are popping up daily as every vendor is looking to capitalize on IoT’s momentum.

Many businesses, small- to mid-size ones in particular, strive to consolidate the number of vendors they use. Going to a single network, server, or storage provider creates “one throat to choke”, simplifies purchasing, and makes supporting the environment easier. It’s often normal to give every employee the same computer with the same software image on it that’s preloaded with every application that everyone across the company needs because that’s easier than trying to juggle numerous ones.

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