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Graphiant 2023 Predictions: Networking Technologies Converge


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

Networking Technologies Converge

By Khalid Raza, CEO and Founder of Graphiant

It's that time of year again - 2023 predictions! The truth is, I think the next 12 months hold some important shifts in enterprise computing. Let's get started ...

The Race is Over - Data Won

We all know that data is growing like crazy. IDC predicts we'll have 175 zettabytes by 2025.  But that's not my prediction. The untold story is that bandwidth has also been growing but is growly more slowly than data. And that has serious ramifications.  Let me explain ...

If we took all the data in the world (estimated as 113ZB today) and transferred it across the street today, using all the bandwidth in the world (estimated to be 786 Tbps today), it would take 36 years to complete that transfer.

But flash forward a few years - to 2025, that same transfer (all the data in 2025 - 175ZB using all the bandwidth in 2025 - 1.687 Pbps) would take 70 years.

This means we can no longer centralize data. Instead, we have to start storing it where it is generated and where it is used. Since most data going forward is generated by IoT devices sitting in factories and other edge locations, this means storing data at the edge. And this will lead to a move away from client-server networking and towards peer-to-peer networking.

Networking Technologies Converge

The migration from traditional hub and spokes networks to today's any-to-any networks has caused enterprises to add many layers to our connectivity tech stack. Currently, enterprises need at least 4 solutions or network constructs to provide service to their users:

  • MPLS and/or SDWAN to connect locations
  • SSE for cloud-delivered security (SWG, DLP, etc.)
  • SDIC for cloud connectivity
  • DMZs for B2B connectivity

This is costly and inefficient. The good news is that in 2023 we'll start to see these separate network constructs converge and enterprises will have the option to consume a single service or multiple services. Either single vendor SASE or a partnership between SSE and NaaS providers will enable all of this functionality.

The Emergence of Networks being Consumed as-a-Service

Before I explain this one, it's important to note that the Internet has come full circle. As originally conceived, the Internet was very much a peer-to-peer network. But consumer applications (such as Facebook and Amazon) caused the Internet to evolve into a client-server model. Compute and data were concentrated at massive servers, and clients were distributed around the globe. 

Call this the consumer Internet. But we seeing a shift to the industrial Internet where - as previously discussed - the center of gravity has shifted to the edge, and we're moving to a peer-to-peer model.  That is a much more kind of network for enterprises to build!  There are massively higher numbers of nodes, and solving for performance, reliability, security, and privacy is excruciatingly difficult. And that leads to my final prediction.

Instead of designing, purchasing, building, and maintaining bespoke networks, enterprises will configure the network on a cloud portal and consume what they need on-demand. The question isn't why this will happen but rather what took so long.

We already consume cloud resources, storage, apps and services this way.  Why not networks? This will allow the Enterprise to concentrate on policies and the as-a-Service network vendor to focus on building and delivering a "hyperscaler-class" network.

Admittedly, I am kind of "cheating" on this last prediction.  My company, Graphiant, just introduced the Graphiant Edge to deliver precisely this service. But consider this - the first two predictions either force this change (as in the case of data growth forcing a move to peer-to-peer networking) or are enabled by the "as-a-Service" networking model (networking technologies converging).

2023 is going to be a very interesting year!




Khalid Raza, CEO and Founder of Graphiant, was the co-founder and CTO of Viptela and is widely regarded as the "Father" of SD-WAN. He is a visionary in routing protocols and large-scale network architectures. In the past 25 years, he has redefined expectations and delivered innovative solutions across all industries for Tier-2 carriers and Fortune 100 companies.

Published Friday, December 02, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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