The move from data centres to digital centres is driving change in the network. By 2020, networks will have transitioned from traditional point to point services to being dynamic on demand and elastic services which enable all kinds of cloud, content, and communications services.
Networks will be ubiquitous and flex to the needs of the applications that they are carrying. The days of A to B connectivity will be long gone and networks will behave much more like the services that they enable. Intelligent Network Infrastructure as a Service (iNaaS) providers are already on this journey and by 2020, the industry will see traditional models replaced with seamless on demand based networking platforms.
There are four things that will shape data centre connectivity over the next five years which accelerate the growth of the digital ecosystem.
1. Software Defined Networking (SDN)
SDN has been talked about for a long time but will now mature to have a tremendous impact on how data centres are interconnected. The network becomes a platform with resources that can be allocated and distributed dynamically between sites. Multiple networks will be centrally managed and support greater efficiency in network resources and agility in shaping traffic flow. This will enable the growth of higher performance applications and services and allow cloud services to be accessed quickly and securely on a global scale.
2. Network Automation
The SDN evolution introduces network automation ,i.e the ability to commission and configure network resources instantly; this is crucial to meet scalability requirements and to reach new levels of service agility. The traditional networking model has been reliant on manual processes and human interaction for provisioning. Today and certainly by 2020, networks will be available on demand and ready to serve the needs of customers. Automation enables the network to react to new bandwidth demands with immediacy. This will drive the flexibility and agility that cloud services demand.
3. Globally Scalable
The goal is ubiquity of service and infrastructure. So far, the US and western Europe have been the largest engines of cloud growth but that is changing fast with Asia and other developing markets showing increased cloud adoption. Network connectivity has to mirror this global growth in cloud and be ready to scale services in new and developing markets. Turning up services should be simple and seamless no matter what market the customer needs to connect.
4. End-to-End Data and Analytics
Networks will need to provide much greater levels of assurance and security in order to support Cloud growth. Across all data centre connectivity, customers need visibility into the network performance and to be able to guarantee quality of service (QoS) and experience (QoE). This will enable high performance applications to be delivered globally with strict SLAs and an optimum user experience. Intelligent networking will be key to not just connecting cloud, content and communications services but ensure that they deliver the performance enterprises and their users need.
Data centre connectivity will look very different by 2020. Overall, the network will be better able to serve the needs of the digital ecosystem and have the flexibility and agility to grow and change alongside it. Steps have already been taken to deliver this future and this approach to data centre connectivity will be solidified by 2020. It is an exciting journey that will definitely transform the industry.