Predictions 2018: Automation Will Dominate Network Innovation

Published on eWeek


As the internet gets increasingly more fragile, automation -- as it is in most other IT categories -- becomes a big factor in making it run more efficiently. Cisco Systems will be deploying its new intent-based networking (IBN) approach.

Networking in 2017 encompassed far, far more technology than simply the pipes used to hold data as it moves from one location to another. It always has. In 2018, networking will evolve even more into software-controlled, artificial intelligence-fortified systems that will be thinking far ahead of humans as data moves through its veins.

Security is always a major factor here, but we’ll not focus on that aspect of networking in this article. We’ll have separate security prediction stories coming shortly here on eWEEK.

Automation, as it is in many other IT categories, is a big headline here. While major networking advancements in the last decade or so have centered around software-defined networking (SDN), earlier this year Cisco Systems launched something it calls intent-based networking (IBN), a project that likely will shape the company’s future network management roadmap.

In the IBN world, managers dictate policies and network orchestration software automatically configures and maintains the state of the network. In 2018, expect the theoretical advantages of IBN to become a reality as proof-of-concept deployments are put into action.

There were other networking advances also, including items such as faster and more powerful routers and switches, vastly improved and leaner networkware and firmware, among others. But this article is about looking at the future, and we at eWEEK have rounded up some cogent predictions from thought leaders here.

They’re all yours.

Johnny Ghibril, VP of Technology Solutions at B.Yond:

“In 2018, many operators will realize that the ROI from virtualizing their networks has failed to materialize due to increased operational complexity and poor architectural foundations. Operators will turn to AI to help solve these problems. In 2018, we will continue to see more adoption of AI, with an increased focus on the cost saving benefit for network management, service assurance and operations.”

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PublicationDaisy Tong