We asked our site experts to give us their industry predictions for the New Year. Here's what our network measurement and diagnostics expert Loki Jorgenson had to say:
In 2004 …
Networks won't matter to anyone except network engineers – everyone else including the user and the CIO will be looking at the bottom line, and in particular using application/solution performance as their metric. This will make addressing the role of networks increasingly awkward since any solution will need to address the network AND everything else.
End-to-end solutions for network-dependent application functionalities will be the key to success for most network-dependent vendors, whether the resource is storage, VoIP, TVoIP, Web or otherwise. This will see some unusual (but obvious in hindsight) partnerships between industries that had previously been viewed very separately.
"Smart"-anything-related-to-networks will be the engineering hype of 2004. This presages the real brunt of the utility computing pitch, starting at the traditional Layer 2 (switches) and moving on up. But as a consequence, the OSI Layer model, and the advantages of thinking in those terms, will be in for a rough ride as network devices start operating at many different layers and applications become "network aware." Confusion will be an early result.
Network security will begin to move away from point solutions like firewalls and towards a host-based focus to support the increasing flexibility and adaptability of networks and network mobility.
Emerging technologies and solutions will continue to threaten the end-to-end principle of the Internet. Understanding end-to-end, whether you adhere to it or not, will be a key to making smart choices.
Loki Jorgenson, Ph. D., Research Director, Apparent Networks, Inc.
With a Ph.D. in computational physics from McGill University, Dr. Loki Jorgenson has been active in computation, physics and mathematics, visualization, and simulation for over 16 years. He has published in areas as diverse as philosophy, graphics, educational technologies, statistical mechanics, logic and number theory. Loki is an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University, where he was previously the Research Manager of the Center for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics.
Need advice about managing your network? Dr. Jorgenson can assist you with network performance and monitoring and ensuring that your infrastructure is working optimally from end to end. Ask him a question or browse his previously addressed Q&As in his Ask-the-Expert section.