As I started thinking about various technology areas - networking, storage, cloud management, application development or usage (PaaS and SaaS) and Big Data - it dawned on me that every one of those areas was under intense pressure to significantly change where it has been for the last 5-10 years. Technologies are always going through cycles of updates, but I can't remember a time when so many areas were going through potentially radical change at the same time.
Networking: The three biggest questions in networking today are focused on the server-access layer of the Data Center.
- Do new applications (web, big data, etc.) mandate a reduction of network layers and/or a simplicity of deployment/operations? Do we need new ways to partition networks?
- Where do custom ASICs belong in the Data Center vs. "merchant silicon" from Broadcom or Fulcom Technologies?
- Where do L4-7 services (Load-Balancing, Firewall, IDS/IPS, DLP) belong in these new architectures, and how should they be deployed (application-level, virtual appliances, physical appliances or integrated services in switches)?
- Are networks ready to be more automated? How broad or complex a "container" should be automated?