2010 predictions: What IT trends will change networking fundamentals?

What IT trends and standards will change the face of networking technology this year? Network fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis gives his 2010 prediction.

Chris Partsenidis
Networking fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis

Networking fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis:
What major changes from new protocols and technology trends will affect the world of networking fundamentals in 2010? One thing I've learned over the years is that once new standards are approved, vendors start bringing out new products to support them. This changes what an IT networking professional fundamentally works with. Think, for example, of all the new devices, mobile phones and wireless devices that were brought to market when Bluetooth was approved in the IEEE 802.15.1 standard.

The IEEE committee has been working on two new standards expected to finalize in 2010 that I predict will force a similar change in our networking environment: IEEE 802.az and IEEE 802.3at. Under IEEE 802.az, an Ethernet link can sit in an idle state and turn itself on only when data needs to be transmitted -- rather than consume power without reason. Research from Berkeley National Laboratory reported that using 1 Gb Ethernet cables capable of supporting the new standard would cut US energy bills alone by up to $250 million a year. Also, the IEEE 802.at standard will allow an increase in the amount of power that can be transmitted over Ethernet cables -- from 15.5 W to 25.5 W! This will allow a whole new class of products to be powered over standard Ethernet cables, for example wireless access points, desktop devices, etc.

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You now might be able to see the big picture: Once vendors start rolling out their new products, these improvements will result in changes to our network equipment that we are currently unable to comprehend. One thing is for sure: It's going to be a very exciting year!

For more computer networking 2010 predictions, continue this slideshow by clicking below:

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This was first published in January 2010

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