Cisco: SDN, Collaboration, Internet of Things to Drive Future Trends

Cisco: SDN, Collaboration, Internet of Things to Drive Future Trends
The Internet of Everything Will Continue to Grow
The Internet of Everything Also Will Mean Lots of Money
IPv6 Will Become Increasingly Important
WebRTC Will Impact How Businesses Communicate With Customers
Heading Toward "Augmented Collaboration"
Combining IoT With Collaboration Tools
SDN Will Move Beyond the Hype Cycle
New Skill Sets Will Be Needed
The Rise of 'Fog Computing'
The Rise of NaaS Will Be Driven by Apps
Weighing Better Services vs. Protecting Personal Information
Protecting the Internet of Things
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Cisco: SDN, Collaboration, Internet of Things to Drive Future Trends

By Jeffrey Burt

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The Internet of Everything Will Continue to Grow

Cisco has been among the key evangelists of the Internet of things. Executives have been talking about it for several years, and in October the company created an IoT business unit. The growing connections between intelligent and automated systems and processes and the rise of big data will fuel huge advances in predictive diagnostics. One prediction: within two to four years, insurers may charge people for driving their own cars—which will have high levels of connectivity, automation and intelligence—rather than letting it drive them.

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The Internet of Everything Also Will Mean Lots of Money

Cisco executives reiterated what they've said before: that the Internet of everything—of which the IoT is a component—will result in $14.4 trillion in profits for companies worldwide by 2020, when there will be about 50 billion connected devices.

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IPv6 Will Become Increasingly Important

There will be some 50 billion devices connecting to the Internet by 2020. Many people wonder if the Internet can handle that kind of deluge. It can, and one way will be through leveraging IPv6 addresses starting next year, said Dave Ward, CTO of engineering and chief architect at Cisco. "It will be a major, major tool," Ward said. "There are more [IPv6] addresses available than atoms on Earth."

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WebRTC Will Impact How Businesses Communicate With Customers

WebRTC will enable browser-based video and audio collaboration, and Cisco is pushing the H.264 codec for the WebRTC spec. Within the next year, companies from retailers to financial institutions will embed WebRTC into their Web interfaces, enabling them to engage customers with such tools as live video calls.

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Heading Toward "Augmented Collaboration"

Cisco is working on the idea of bringing together floor-to-ceiling high-definition video collaboration, shared whiteboards, shared documents and resources, and voice control, creating the Augmented Collaboration concept. Within 12 months, the company will take the idea from the experimentation stage in its labs to initial customer proof-of-concept pilots.

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Combining IoT With Collaboration Tools

Also coming next year will be tighter integration of data from the Internet of things with collaboration tools. This mash-up will create "context-aware" environments, giving businesses better insight into their customers. Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of networked experiences at Cisco, said that in the next one to two years, collaboration apps will automatically give users information about people and organizations contacting them. They also will collect useful historical information—such as documents and past interactions—that can be relevant to teams working together.

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SDN Will Move Beyond the Hype Cycle

Software-defined networking has gotten the lion's share of attention in the networking market for the past couple of years. Starting next year, real-world SDN platforms and applications will emerge, according to Dave Ward, CTO of engineering and chief architect at Cisco.

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New Skill Sets Will Be Needed

SDN will help drive the greater integration of compute, storage, networking and applications, according to Cisco executives. Given that, IT professionals will need to broaden their skills beyond the areas they've been specializing in.

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The Rise of 'Fog Computing'

Compute and networking will begin to converge at the edge of networks, which will mean more distributed intelligence that balances the need for large, centralized data centers with the need for improved computing and decision-making at the local level.

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The Rise of NaaS Will Be Driven by Apps

Open APIs and developer adoption will help fuel the rise of SDN-enabled network-as-a-service (NaaS) platforms. Apps that address automation, mobility and analytics will be among the most important ones, and will start appearing in 2013, according to Lauren Cooney, senior director of strategy and planning at Cisco.

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Weighing Better Services vs. Protecting Personal Information

Real value from the Internet of everything comes from being able to deliver personalized, relevant and local experiences. Over the next 12 to 24 months, Internet users—in order to have better and more personalized services and information—will become more willing to offer more personal information, according to Guido Jouret, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Internet of Things Group.

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Protecting the Internet of Things

The IoT is all about more devices—including devices that carry personal financial information—getting onto the Internet. That means privacy and security will become increasingly important. Over the next one to three years, the model for security will shift from "protecting the perimeter" to a multi-layered approach that combines technologies that include clients embedded within devices or localized connections, and centralized cloud-based intelligence that constantly scans to protect, Jouret said.

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