Intelligent Data Centres Issue 01 | Page 18

DATA CENTRE PREDICTIONS (web browsers, mobile devices), in the next decade we will see more data being processed at the edge. Consumers will be interacting with IT using either more sophisticated devices (be it self-driving cars, drones, AR/VR headsets, AI, rich interactive interfaces) or more dispersed and numerous devices (IoT sensors and actuators, smart tags, etc.). In 2019 we will take a step further in the realisation that ‘edge’ is no longer just an analyst vision, but an increasingly concrete reality for most IT managers. This is a long-term and gradual trend, but a clear shift in awareness is hitting now. Network Network management, management, infrastructure infrastructure management, management, data data centre centre 2019: The year of virtualisation and automation in enterprise networking management In network management, infrastructure management and the data centre, the big themes will continue to be virtualisation and automation, with a jump in enterprise awareness in 2019. In the past decade, most areas in IT went through a major transformation that enabled large service providers to operate at ‘web scale’ and the enterprise to drastically improve its levels of efficiency. The technology involved included virtualisation (which decoupled layers of infrastructure), orchestration (which allowed vendor-neutral approaches to management) and DevOps (a transformation on culture and operational processes). If in the 2000s a system administrator could take care of 30 servers, in 2019 that number is larger than 3,000, a two order of magnitude jump. A persistent incongruence has been: if every other field in IT has been transformed by virtualisation, orchestration, DevOps, why is it that networking has remained ‘old school’? 18 Issue 01 While other IT silos seem to be collapsing into a ‘converged infrastructure’, network remains separate. Is it cultural? Are networking people more conservative? THE COST AND RESILIENCY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OLD- SCHOOL WAN NETWORKING USING MPLS CIRCUITS AND ACCESS ROUTERS AND SD-WAN ARE CLEAR AND COMPELLING. If I am managing an application infrastructure, I can rely on always-on network connectivity, apply automation techniques to reduce the need for human intervention. If I am managing a server or storage infrastructure, I can rely on always- on network infrastructure, apply automation techniques to increase scale and efficiency. Now, if I am managing the network infrastructure, I cannot rely on always- on networking connectivity. Networking is different in the sense that it manages the infrastructure that supports the automation efforts of all other IT silos. While virtualisation and orchestration technologies are now being applied to networking, it won’t change the fact that, different from other IT silos, monitoring, managing and repairing the physical layer of networking will remain relevant in the long-term. In IT infrastructure management, if I am managing applications, the network is always there to save me. If I am managing servers or storage, the network is always there to save me. If I am managing databases, the network is always there to save me. If I am managing the network infrastructure, who do I rely on? That’s where Opengear comes in. We are the last-resort infrastructure that supports network infrastructure management. Software-defined wide-area Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) networking (SD-WAN) 2019: The year of SD-WAN – but everyone knows that There is no better demonstration of the intrinsic dependency of the physical layer of networking and geography than wide- area networking (WAN). In the past couple of years, we have witnessed a remarkable convergence of previously disjointed technologies to address a general problem. Traffic management and quality-of-service, data encryption and compression, VPN