With 2012 almost over, there are some key technology areas that are going to shift the upcoming year. While there's been numerous new innovations, there's also been advancements around some older ones. Although not an all-encompassing list, this reviews the top-level areas where the IT community is heading.
In working with various technologies, it’s always important to understand the various offerings and benefits of a given solution or platform. Whether working with cloud computing or data center management, there have been some truly powerful innovations – all designed to make the management and deployment process easier.
Top 5 Technologies List
1. Cloud Computing. There’s little argument that cloud computing, or at least the term, has made a big impact on the IT community. Marketing terms aside, the technology has allowed many organizations to consolidate, expand and gain more control over their environment. Disaster recovery has become more plausible for more organizations as cloud computing continues to push forward. Remember, the cloud isn’t just one singular tool – rather, it’s a combination of solutions and technologies all working together to help delivery data over one of the following cloud delivery models:
2. Next-Generation Security. We’ve gone far beyond just the standard firewall. Security appliances, both physical and virtual, are now offering more for people demanding greater amounts of security. The future of security technologies revolves around the ability to offer granular control over content both coming in and leaving an environment. This is where security in the cloud becomes important. Solutions have been developed to monitor and control cloud-based traffic. Furthermore, many organizations are deploying appliances which are capable of protecting internal applications and prevent the leakage of information through powerful Data Loss Prevention engines. When working with next-gen security products, look at the following pieces as key components for an expanding environment:
- Virtual and Physical Firewalls
- Cloud Security
- Application Firewalls
3. Open-source management. The open-source community is lighting up with some amazing platforms which are helping the management of various environments. Solutions, like Hadoop, are helping organizations gain a better understanding around their data environment needs. Furthermore, these technologies are reducing the amount of data fragmentation taking place. This means companies can utilize their data in an efficient way and mine their databases with maximum efficiency. Other management platforms aim to unify the cloud computing model and help organizations manage resources which are potentially spanning numerous different locations. Whether working with big data sets, a cloud computing model, or managing the environment, open-source solutions can really help simplify the management process. Keep an eye out for the following areas when working with an open-source management platform:
- Big Data
- Cloud Computing
- Infrastructure Management
4. Mobile Device Management. Outside of just mobile devices, IT consumerization has taken the business workplace by storm. There has been a huge increase in personal devices appearing as within the work environment. More phones, tablets, and PCs are being used as supplemental tools to conducting business. With more application delivery methods, and better virtualization practices, end-users are seeing the benefits of using their own devices to be even more productive. In working with BYOD, IT consumerization, and mobile devices – it’s important to never allow the process to become a “free-for-all.” There are many different mobile device management (MDM) tools coming out which monitor the types of devices being used on the network, their access level, and how applications are being delivered to them. When incorporating a BYOD-type environment, look for MDM tools which will help with the following:
- BYOD Policies
- Data Control
- Self-Service Portals
5. Virtualization. We’ve gone way beyond the original days of server virtualization. The market has expanded to include new technologies, better platforms, and many more use-cases for virtualization. There is, of course, still the traditional need to virtualize servers. Above and beyond that, application virtualization now helps deliver apps down to many more end-points and has helped fuel the BYOD initiative. Desktop virtualization (VDI) has made administrators rethink how they deploy and manage desktops. Thin-computing technologies have really taken off as VDI became a very feasible replacement for the traditional desktop. Beyond that, we are now seeing a complete abstraction of the user layer from the underlying hardware – and even software – components. User virtualization has allowed the end-user to freely travel between devices, applications and environments while still retaining their information and settings. Furthermore, advancements around network (such as Software Defined Networks) and storage virtualization has helped create a more efficient and robust environment. When looking at virtualization solutions, keep an eye out for the following technologies:
- Application (ThinApp, XenApp, App-V)
- Server (VMware, Hyper-V, XenServer)
- Desktop (XenDesktop, View)
- Network (SDN, VMware, NetScaler, Cisco)
- Storage (NetApp, IBM, Compellent, etc.)
This year has been great for technology. Virtualization and efficiencies built around the infrastructure have really taken off. One of the greatest parts of being in this industry is that technological advancements are pretty much guaranteed. In 2013, we’re going to see a rise in SDN, greater emphasis on security in the data center and cloud, and of course an even greater push towards virtual technologies.
Our contributor Bill Kleyman is a virtualization and cloud solutions architect at MTM Technologies where he works extensively with data center, cloud, networking, and storage design projects.