Recapping 2017’s biggest trends in networking technology
Editor’s note: Cisco accelerated its shift to software, vendors launched new tools for managing data centers, and analytics, fueled by machine learning, stole the spotlight. Here, a recap of some of the most significant 2017 trends in networking technology. ￼ Data center infrastructure trends in networking In February, Cisco joined Microsoft to offer Azure Stack services in its UCS server. Throughout the early months of the year, Cisco revenues continued to fall, dropping for a fifth consecutive quarter because of declining sales of routers and switches. Cisco attracted a lot of attention for its Digital Network Architecture (DNA) software initiative, which included a new line of Catalyst campus switches engineered to pave the way for a more intuitive way to program the network. DNA eliminates the need to program devices manually through the command-line interface; instead engineers use a policy-based approach to determine network behavior. Later that summer, Cisco said it would acquire SD-WAN vendor Viptela for $610 million in a bid to consolidate its WAN offerings. In the fall, Cisco launched Intersight, a software-as-a-service initiative slated to become a management option for the vendor’s Unified Computing System and HyperFlex, a hyper-converged infrastructure platform. It also bolstered its Application Centric Infrastructure SDN software by enabling it to run across multiple data centers. Other data center news included Juniper’s work on a switch fabric intended for multiple data centers, with a single set of management tools and higher spending on public cloud services. @Juniper also made a series of announcements in December that included the release of bot software aimed at automating certain network functions. Additionally, @Dell EMC made its #NOS standard on new #opennetworking switches and @Arista expanded its #spineleaf architecture for #hyperscale #datacenters. Dell followed up its NOS announcement by releasing a line of high-speed switches for data centers and carriers in the fall. Vendor consolidation gained traction, with @Extreme Networks purchasing the #datacenter business of @Brocade, as well as the networking assets of @Avaya.