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Brocade publishes technology predictions for 2013

Jack Loo | Dec. 5, 2012
Technology trends from software-defined networks to smartphones.

What does 2013 hold for broadcasters, enterprises and consumers? Charlie Foo, vice president for Asia Pacific, Brocade, unveils his predictions for the coming months.

As service providers look to strike a balance between bandwidth demand and reducing their Capex (capital expenditure) and Opex (operating expenditure), many will be looking at SDN technology as a solution, according to Foo.

Brocade's definition of SDN is that it links networks and applications, enabling direct programmatic control of both networks and orchestration layers in line with end-user application needs, rather than programming around the network, as is done today.

Analysis from IDC seems to support this prediction. The firm predicts that global SDN market will be worth US$2 billion a year by 2016, up from just US$168 million today.

"With the promise of SDN architectures radically decreasing total cost of ownership (TCO), and vendor innovation/support continuing to increase, I predict that we'll see pockets of actual SDN service deployments across the globe...primarily in the U.S. and Japan to start," said Foo.

With the roll-out of higher-performing networks such as 4G and LTE and devices that offer seamless connectivity, Foo predicts that 2013 will be the year where "we will see the decline of the 'transaction-based' user and the rise of the 'always-connected' user".

A transaction-based user is an individual that will connect to the Internet to conduct an activity (such as to make a purchase or to stream content), and then log off, he explained.

Businesses will leverage on this phenomenon and increasingly turn to social media and communities to host a larger portion of their customer experience and support processes.

While this will transform engagement models, to be successful, operators and businesses will need to ensure that their back-end networks can meet user expectations. In situations such as this, even one service disruption could be fatal to the customer relationship.

Businesses will continue to scrutinise the impact of the cloud more than ever before. "I predict that IT organisations will attempt to take back control of their own assets (and budgets) and the deployment of private cloud architectures will accelerate during the second half of the year," said Foo.

The importance of open architectures and multi-vendor solutions will become more prevalent in 2013, as the trend of "product de-siloing" becomes more prevalent. "Those vendors not able to coexist in multi-vendor environments will struggle in this more demanding, and competitive, landscape. And I expect at least one major vendor casualty in the coming year," said Foo.

The smartphones of today can deliver communications, content and computing services in a single form-factor, simplifying user experience. Foo believes there will be similar breakthrough advances in 2013. "Exactly what that breakthrough will be is a million-dollar question," he said.


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