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Wednesday, 06 January 2016 11:58

Three predictions for the data centre in 2016

Posted By  Nigel Oakley

The data centre will openly embrace 100G, adopt Open Networking as a standard and move to containerisation, predicts Juniper Networks’ Nigel Oakley

In recent years, the digital economy has begun to transform the business landscape. As a strategic asset and driver of new business models, high-performing data centre networks are a focal point for any business intending to stay ahead of unfolding trends and disruptions that the digital economy presents.

This may explain why in 2015 IDC estimated that total spending on cloud IT infrastructure (server, storage, and Ethernet switch, excluding double counting between server and storage) had reached almost  £22 billion.

I predict we’ll see the following data centre and cloud developments in 2016:

1/ 100G Networks Become the Norm Due to Marketplace Demands

The drive for faster, more scalable networks will only intensify in 2016. Software defined networking (SDN), a technology that was adopted heavily in 2015 as more and more companies realised its value, will increasingly meet these demands. SDN controllers will be more widely deployed thanks to turn-key SDN solutions. The push for more scale has customer verticals taking aggressive steps to adjust to the increased network demand.

2/ 80 percent of Enterprise Networks Will Adopt Some Form of Open Networking in 2016

The open networking movement has been driven in part by the heavy demand for more flexibility and efficiency. Silicon Valley heavyweights Facebook and Google have been pushing for the opening up of platforms for a while now, something that will continue into 2016.

With standards changing and platforms opening up to end vendor lock-in, these developments will only aid the open networking movement’s momentum. According to a recent IHS report by analyst Clifford Grossner, by 2019, so-called bare metal switches, an integral part of open networking, will account for 26 percent of data centreEthernet ports shipped worldwide. The previous usage was closer to 12 percent in early 2015, signaling that open networking tools will be on a steady upswing in the next 18 months.

Open networking tools will rise as data centers themselves adapt to the changing times as well. A new landscape, which seems to signal a data centrethat’s more open than ever before.

3/ Containerised Applications are Finally Ready for Mass Enterprise Adoption

Containerised applications are evolving with enterprises large and small taking notice. Recent announcements from Docker now allow containers to discover where in the cluster, in the data center, or even in a remote cloud, their sister containers were residing and automatically connect to them.

In addition, the increasing adoption of Kubernetes, created and supported by Google, has gained traction and momentum with events like Kubecon. With better connectivity and claims that overall security has been improved, a sticking point for enterprises in the past when it comes to evaluating containerisation technology, all signs are pointing towards rampant adoption in 2016.

About the author

Nigel Oakley is Juniper Networks’ EMEA Chief Architect Cloud and Automation. He joined the company in 2011, having held senior positions at the likes of IBM, Intelliden and others in the IT industry.

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