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December 2017, Vol. 8, No. 10

The future of networking technology is playing out right now

In the 2011 novel Ready Player One, author Ernest Cline offers his take on the future of networking technology: a dystopian United States in 2044, where everyone is plugged into a virtual world dubbed Oasis. The protagonist, Wade Watts, is a network-savvy teen who discusses data center stacks, servers, bandwidth and security with the air of a wizened IT pro as he stays a step ahead of forces who are out to stop him (spoiler alert). The book also offers some hardcore '80s pop culture nostalgia, for anyone into things like John Hughes movies and new wave music. In this story, the only way to escape the dreary real world is to have a thorough understanding of the networked, virtual world. Today's infrastructure is not to the point of plugging people in -- at least not yet. But the future of networking technology is already underway, and, like Watts, IT managers must understand how all these evolving concepts will work together. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), for one, is an intriguing peek into the future of networking ...

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