Infrastructure 2015: 5 key trends for the year ahead

The relentless pace of change in infrastructure technology makes it harder than ever to predict the key trends, challenges and opportunities which will shape the year ahead.

We remain undaunted, nevertheless. So we’ve dusted down the Excel crystal ball and searched for the five trends which we believe will have the biggest impact on the infrastructure market over the next 12 months.

1.  10GBASE-T, 40GBASE-T and beyond…

Close to home for Excel, 10GBASE-T will finally become the norm in office specs in 2015; driven not by the oft-quoted need to future proof, but the realisation that that future is here – particularly in terms of rising WLAN traffic volumes.

Meanwhile, while 10GBASE-T is already established as a valuable, and indeed a normal, proposition in the datacentre, expect to hear much more about CommScope’s recent demonstration of steps towards a viable 40GBASE-T system for datacentre applications.

2.  IP-based occupancy management

This technology has been around for a couple of years now, led by Excel’s own pioneering DeskQUERYTM toolkit.

But with no let-up in sight on property prices in the major corporate centres, a continued squeeze on business margins, and ongoing commitments to austerity from global government at local and national level, adoption among private and public sector organisations alike is going to accelerate dramatically in 2015

3.  Education, education, education

Recent years have seen a massive rise in enterprise-level infrastructure requirements in sectors as diverse as manufacturing and professional services. From compliance to capacity, security to global always-on working, factors which used to principally affect the financial services sector are now in play across plenty of other sectors.

The next sector to adopt an enterprise approach to infrastructure will be education, and particularly higher education. Global competition, dramatic restructuring of financial models, overseas operations and global business partnerships are all driving huge IT requirements – not to mention those local application-based factors which is also driving up bandwidth requirements in business (mobile, BYOD etc.).

4.  Voice-over-Wi-Fi

On the subject of which… there are indeed a whole host of factors driving exponential increases in WLAN traffic and data volumes, including the adoption of formerly consumer mobile devices like tablets into the business mainstream, an explosion in mobile applications and content, and the increasing popularity of bring-your-own-device programmes.

But the biggest game changer in 2015 will be the mainstream adoption of voice-over-Wi-Fi as an essential enterprise application – note the embedding of support in the new iPhone 6 (iOS 8) for example.

5.  The Internet of Things

Finally, and inevitably, we come to the Internet of Things. 2015 will be the year in which infrastructure professionals really starts to get to grips with the requirements of the big data needed to drive Internet of Things applications – which will soon be found everywhere from mobile phones to major manufacturing plants.

What is the best environment for the massive amounts of data that need to connect to these always-on devices? How are we going to provide the staggering amounts of network bandwidth, processing power, security and storage required to collect, analyse, store and share this data?

Hybrid cloud environments will of course be the answer, with ‘cloud bursting’ at its heart: dedicated hardware handling core function and the most demanding usage, and flexible and cost-effective public cloud infrastructures kicking in as needed. 2015 will see continued and rapid progress towards this model and progress across all the relevant issues around compliance, performance requirements and security restrictions.

 

So, there are our thoughts for 2015. Add your own thoughts via Comments below, and we look forward to seeing you again in 12 months to see how it all panned out!