On Tuesday, May 25, at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. GMT, @eWEEKNews will host its 98th monthly #eWEEKChat. The topic will be “Next-Gen Networking,” and it will be moderated by new eWEEK Editor James Maguire.
Some quick facts:
Topic: #eWEEKchat, May 25: “Next-Gen Networking”
Date/time: Tuesday, May 25, 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. GMT
Participation: You can use #eWEEKchat to follow/participate via Twitter itself, but it’s easier and more efficient to use the real-time chat room link at CrowdChat. Instructions are on that page; log in at the top right, use your Twitter handle to register, and the chat begins promptly at 11 a.m. PT. The page will come alive at that time with the real-time discussion. You can join in or simply watch the discussion as it is created. Special thanks to John Furrier of SiliconAngle.com for developing the CrowdChat app.
Our in-chat experts this month will include Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research and eWEEK networking analyst; Prashanth Shenoy, Cisco Systems Vice President of Marketing, Cloud and Networking; Larry Lunetta, Aruba Vice President of WLAN and Security Solutions Marketing; Rowell Dionicio, Packet6 Founder and Managing Director; Mittal Parekh, CommScope Head of Product Marketing, RUCKUS business unit. We will be adding others this week.
Chat room real-time link: Use https://www.crowdchat.net/eweekchat. Sign in with your Twitter handle and use #eWEEKchat for the identifier.
Next-generation networking: Where are the key trends?
IT networking originally was all about the plumbing for data centers and the internet: having a reliable, traffic cop-like network controller, plugging cables into the right ports and using firewalls for security. Plus, you needed good, knowledgeable network admins who knew how to solve data-movement problems. Now it’s less about the management (because most of it is now automated) and more about the trustworthiness of those people running it.
While those conventions are still a mainstay of the connected world, innovation has changed the industry enormously in the last decade. The data center industry has long since moved to larger-pipe connectivity (Ethernet, Infiniband), central network controls, automated storage and security, built-in intelligence and faster wireless connectivity—to mention only a few advancements.
Software-defined networking (SDN), SD-WAN (wide-area networks) and other network virtualization technologies have driven the conversation in the industry for the past few years. However, for all the talk about SDN and SD-WAN, the tech world is still in the relatively early stages of these and other innovations, such as network-functions virtualization (NFV).
Still, there are more than a few network administrators who continue to think it might be overkill to overhaul a system for a small or medium-size business when the current one works just fine.
The problem is that the amount of data being generated is not about to slow down or be reduced any time soon. Industry analysts have calculated that all the data racked up in the world in one month in 2020 probably totals more than the data stored in the entire year of 2019. Businesses need to keep up with this data growth in order to stay competitive in their markets; should someone slip, others gain advantage that they might not relinquish for a while.
SD-WAN leading the way into the future
With the advent of widespread SD-WAN, WiFi 6 and 5G on the horizon, plenty of key decision-makers are, in fact, currently upgrading their networks. Speed in moving data streams to where the computing is taking place, and vice-versa, has never been more important to businesses–local or global.
Some key data points from a recent survey by QuinStreet Inc.:
- Thirty-nine percent of the 466 IT professionals surveyed said they either are currently using SDN technology in their infrastructures or are planning to within the next 12 months.
- Another 10 percent said deployment will come in the next 13 to 24 months, and 25 percent said they plan to deploy, but don’t yet have a timeline.
- Fifty-three percent of respondents said they are using a combination of deployment models.
- Sixty-nine percent said using the cloud makes updating network appliances much easier.
- Nineteen percent of respondents using SDN came from the tech industry, and another 12 percent from telecommunications. Eleven percent were from banking and financial services, 9 percent each from education and manufacturing, and 8 percent from federal, state or local government.
WiFi 6, for one example, enables speeds to improve, latency to recede and cause familiar limitations of WiFi to vanish. The relatively fallow ground of 6GHz means that compromises due to legacy devices would be gone, making WiFi something that you could use anywhere in the office or on the production floor.
Imagine WiFi 6 at 60GHz. With all of that extra bandwidth, wireless capacity would move far beyond the current limitations of fiber networks in the office. While there will still be a role for fiber outside of the office, inside the office, 60GHz WiFi 6 will simplify enterprise networking by providing a multi-gigabit infrastructure without the disruption of cabling or the expense of wired infrastructure.
Cambium Networks is one of the forward-looking networking companies that is already providing hardware and software infrastructure around WiFi6. “From New York to Naples to Nigeria, everyone wants super-fast wireless connections,” Cambium CEO Atul Bhatnagar said. “By bringing together Wi-Fi 6 and 60GHz solutions with cloud software, we’re changing the game with unified wireless that can serve any city, any enterprise, any school, any business or any industry at a fraction of the cost of wired networks. With this new wave of technology, wireless is the new fiber, and it simply just works.”
What we’ll discuss
Certainly 5G connectivity will be a huge improvement over 4G LTE in the wireless world. That will be a major talking point in our #eWEEKchat. Here are examples of seed questions we’ll pose to our audience on May 25:
- Besides adding speed, what direct impact will 5G connectivity have on networks in the future?
- What is intent-based networking and what are its business advantages?
- Will WiFi 6 become the next backbone-type network? Why or why not?
- How is SD-WAN able to converge network, security and AI all in one?
- How and why is NVIDIA, one of the world’s top graphics processor makers, becoming a leader in next-gen networking?
- Who are some of the young networking startup “stars” of the business and what new functionality do they bring to the table?
Join us May 25 at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. GMT for an hour. Chances are good that you’ll learn something valuable.
#eWEEKchat Tentative Schedule for 2021*
xJan. 12: What’s Up in Next-Gen Data Security
xFeb. 9: Why Data Orchestration is Fast Replacing Batch Processing
xMarch 9: What’s Next-Gen in Health-Care IT?|
xApril 13: The Home as Enterprise Branch
May 11: Next-Gen Networking Products & Services
June 8: Next-Gen VDI Hybrid Deployments
July 13: DevOps & Agile Development
Aug. 10: Trends in Project Management & Collaboration Tools
Sept. 14: Trends in Data Storage, Protection and Privacy
Oct. 12: DataOps: The Data Management Platform of the Future?
Nov. 9: New Tech to Expect for 2022
Dec. 14: Predixions and Wild Guesses for IT in 2022
*all topics subjects to change