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Juniper Networks 2021 Predictions: Three Enterprise Networking Trends That Will Shape the Year Ahead

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Three Enterprise Networking Trends That Will Shape the Year Ahead

By Christian Gilby, senior director of enterprise product marketing at Juniper Networks

This year, enterprise networking was tested in unprecedented ways, with the pandemic forcing organizations to fundamentally change the way they operate and adapt for a long-term remote workforce. As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect industries around the world, network infrastructure will continue to take center stage for enterprises in 2021. At Juniper Networks, we also expect to see network visibility and analytics impact the end-user experience, network transformation to modern cloud architectures and the introduction of Wi-Fi 6E and private LTE.

  • Network visibility and analytics will be critical to optimize user experiences: One of the biggest network weaknesses that the pandemic revealed is that many companies lack the ability to support their employees' home network environments, both in terms of helping them troubleshoot issues remotely and in providing a great network experience to maintain productivity. As organizations scale their networks to address remote work, it can be difficult to effectively monitor networks and identify problems that interfere with the end-user experience through traditional methods. By shifting away from static tunnel-based technologies for interconnecting branch sites towards session-based routing and by utilizing rich data and analytics, IT teams have a 360-degree view of their networks and can evaluate network data to access real-time insights from the edge to the data center. This client-to-cloud visibility allows IT teams to automate and optimize the enterprise network, enabling them to assure the best end-user experience. Network automation and optimization allows IT workers to transform the support experience, moving away from the incumbent legacy world of reacting to leaning towards proactively alerting through the power of data, data science and AI, resolving most problems well before end users even know there is an issue.
  • The network of the next decade will rely on modern cloud architectures: If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is that businesses need consider investing in transforming their network infrastructure to an agile and elastic modern cloud environment. Yet, this migration will not cease at the end of the pandemic. In order to scale up for secure collaboration, companies will accelerate their adoption of modern cloud architectures for the network. There are a number of factors to consider, including ensuring that they have the networking infrastructure in place to handle the additional load and moving all corporate applications to the cloud so that employees can access data and applications seamlessly. Network agility will be more important to the customer experience than ever before, and the only way to achieve it is to build your network in a modern cloud environment that can match the innovation speed of a business' digital transformation team. This will help organizations pivot in dynamic times, ensuring business continuity and productivity.
  • With Wi-Fi 6E and private LTE, enterprises will have more wireless options than ever: The evolution of Wi-Fi started in the early 80s, and we've gone through several paradigm shifts since. With the onset of the pandemic, enterprises have learned to transition from the office to a remote workforce - a process that has emphasized the importance of reliable connectivity. This transition has been evident across industry and government.Mobile internet connectivity is becoming a necessity for a country and its citizens' economic prosperity. By late 2021 or early 2022, Wi-Fi 6E, which increases available RF spectrum with the addition of up to doubling of the available Wi-Fi spectrum by adding channels in the 6GHz band, will be an enabler for the continued hypergrowth of IoT and mobile devices across all vertical industries. Private LTE in the 3.5GHz band will start to appear in the enterprise, to ensure businesses can provide ubiquitous internet coverage to their employees, guests, customers and IoT devices. The future will be a network of networks with AI as a key factor in managing the complexity.

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About the Author

Christian Gilby 

Christian Gilby is director of enterprise product marketing at Mist, a Juniper company. He has over 20 years of product marketing, management and engineering experience in the networking industry with a strong focus on mobility, cloud and wireless and speaks often at industry events globally. He currently leads product marketing for Mist and Juniper's AI-Driven Enterprise campus portfolio (Wi-Fi, SD-WAN, campus switching, campus routing). Previously he led product marketing for wired, wireless and branch solutions at Aruba (acquired by HPE).

Published Friday, December 18, 2020 11:01 AM by David Marshall
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