Ahead of the new working year, what’s on the IT Christmas wishlist for IT teams and managers?

We look at some of the most in-demand products and services that IT managers are hoping for in 2019.

A sneak peek at the IT Christmas wishlist: more elastic networks in 2019

Data centre virtualisation and Software-as-a-Service have made tremendous strides over the past several years in taking applications and hardware appliances off premises and into the cloud giving IT teams far more speed and flexibility.

However, the last bastion of resistance to rapid to deploy pay-as-you-go and as-a-service models made possible by the internet and virtualisation is network connectivity.

It is the physical network infrastructure down to the last-mile that has always been the tricky bit, with potential bottlenecks, network congestion at peaks times, and lengthy circuit installation times causing delays and fiddly time consuming scripting processes to enact changes.

Software-defined networks to bring greater agility to networks

Help is on the way. During 2018 most enterprise network service providers, including BT, Orange Business Services, Verizon, and AT&T, developed software-defined network solutions for connecting branch offices to the corporate network. The implications of this are major – no more costly premises-based hardware appliances for value-added security and optimization, plus other functions, and new capabilities for configuring networks far more rapidly and less human error-prone than ever before.

2019 network predictions

Software-defined network services will continue to expand and improve as we move into 2019. The sheer volume of network traffic being driven by the adoption of 5G mobile networks, the internet of things, and higher-speed fibre optical cables, will make software-defined management of the network absolutely essential to successfully deploying these new technologies.

Already in 2018 we see many types of suppliers looking to cash in on the fast-growing Software-defined Wide Area Network segment, from traditional telecommunications providers, to specialist platform developers, systems integrators and software developers.

Partnerships between the network providers and the hyperscale cloud companies such as Amazon and Google, will be a central focus in 2019, with these relations being put in place to help deliver apps running in the cloud, and over Internet backbones with business-grade performance and security.

Thus the future of networking is more automation, more software-defined and virtualized functions, and, all the time in the background, close attention to thwarting cybersecurity.

To give an example of how a Software-defined Wide Area Network might benefit the IT manager: with firewall functions now virtualized, if there is a security breach incident, the network administrator can very quickly re-configure the security parameters on a virtual firewall, and with a click of a button deploy the new safer version across the entire corporate Wide Area Network in full compliance and with consistency.

This is made possible thanks to automation and greater network agility and elasticity, and this is the reason why more elastic networks are on the IT manager’s wishlist this Christmas.

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