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Poll: Out with the Old, In with Emerging Technology


February 16, 2016

Last month, the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community Poll delved into what you viewed as the top driver to infrastructure upgrades, with the community selecting storage / Hadoop as the primary impetus. This month, we asked, “Which option are you most interested in for upgrading your data center,” and silence spoke volumes. In an industry quickly evolving as a result of innovation, the old guard may be witnessing the end of its market dominance.

Before we get to the response that received an overwhelming amount of attention, let’s take a gander at those falling short of the top spot. Combined, “Incumbent switch vendor” and “white box switches through established brands (Dell, Juniper, HP)” amounted to less than a quarter of responses received. What this tells me, is the industry as a whole is looking toward what’s next—out with the status quo and on to more transformative technology.

Just as the first two options received tepid responses, “Other emerging technology solutions” garnered more than 50 percent of respondents’ attention. The ‘emergence’ of virtualization and automation via progress in NFV, SDN and the cloud is responsible for the potential of what the future could hold.

According to recent research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the SDN market alone is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 60 percent from 2014-2020 giving the market a valuation of over $12 billion by 2020.  Coupled with NFV, investment in these burgeoning technologies is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020. When it comes to the cloud, the recent Cisco Cloud Index report highlighted that by 2019 more than 80 percent of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud. One day soon these “emerging technologies” will serve as status quo.

For instance, at the recent ITEXPO automation was on display in the form of FiberMountain’s Cross Cage Plus. The solution is the first automated Meet-Me-Room cross connect for multi-tenant data centers, illustrating the shift from manual to automated functions in the data center.

To round out our results, 23 percent of respondents noted no planned upgrade. This could be portrayed as a “wait and see” or “happy with what we have” attitude—only time will tell the tale. As a point of note, even when comparing the sum of the three alternative responses, they still do not add up to those with an eye on emerging technology.

While our community is but a snapshot of an ever-changing market, these results ring true. I can’t help but support a movement toward emerging technology solutions. It is not about the name on the packaging, but instead performance, efficiency and usability should be in the cross hairs. Innovation is beginning to deliver on its potential. 2015 saw the data center delve into uncharted waters, 2016 is poised to be the year of emerging technology.

You’ll see…




Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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