Innovative Prophecies

By Gilda Foss, Industry Evangelist, Office of the CTO, NetApp


NetApp CTO, Jay Kidd, recently published his 2014 predictions.  As the Chairperson for the SNIA Analytics & Big Data Committee and a Director on the Ethernet Alliance Board, two specifically caught my eye and sparked some thought.  The first is the notion that Big Data has evolved from merely analyzing the data you have to actually now driving the collection of new data.  This is a very true phenomenon and one that has unleashed a vast range of data collection applications that do just this. 


Jay states that “As companies derive value from analytics on existing data, they will move to collect additional data that will further their insight.  New devices will emerge to gather more data about consumer behaviors, industrial processes, and natural phenomenon.  These data sources will be used by existing analytics to improve insight, and will give rise to entirely new analytics applications.”

By now, we all know that one of the main objectives in analyzing extremely large and diverse types of data is to uncover correlations and patterns which largely helps with decision-making and improved business results. Furthermore, business analytics focuses on why events are happening, what will happen next, and how to optimize the enterprise’s future actions.


In the retail industry, for example, the need for advanced data analytics being driven by a variety of applications which guide decision-making. Such applications include price and promotion optimization, store site selections using census data sets and satellite imagery, or in-store and on-line shopper behavior by tracking shopping patterns and purchases. If relationships between large and unrelated data sets are analyzed, new insights can be used to tune existing and future strategies to yield significant results improvement.  So, the need for new data collection solutions to intelligently collect the large volume and variety of data in these complex transactional environments is paramount.


Another prediction that resonates with my industry focus is the notion that 40GbE taking off in the Datacenter.  Jay states that “The next evolution of the Ethernet, 40GbE, begins widespread adoption at the core of the datacenter.  Higher bandwidths allow larger datasets to move more quickly and easily, which in turn encourages the growth of data.”


The introduction of servers with 10 GbE network connections will prompt many enterprises to adopt 40 Gigabit Ethernet in the aggregation and core layers of data center networks in order to meet the overall bandwidth demands of top-of-rack servers with 10 GbE server-facing ports.


Research firms across the board tend to agree that there will indeed be strong growth for 40GbE and 100GbE data center switching and anticipate a compound annual growth rate of more than 100% over the next five years, with these two technologies comprising the majority of data switching revenues by 2017. Firms are also predicting that 40GbE adoption will initially exceed that of 100GbE, due to factors such as more attractive pricing, broader product offerings, higher port densities and fewer competing port-interface types.


Innovative and cutting edge companies such as Arista Networks are already leading the market with their 40GbE solutions.   Their one-of-a-kind triple speed 10/40/100GbE line card on their high-end modular switch gives data center managers the flexibility to deploy 12 x 10GbE, 3 x 40GbE or 1 x 100GbE on any given port which helps ease the transition from 10 to 40 to 100GbE in the datacenter.  Additionally, the fact that the optics are integrated and do not need to be changed when the speed is upgraded is just a bonus to this already compelling investment protection story.  The key here and overall important point is that a solution such as this enables customers to build a universal cloud networking infrastructure for the worlds largest data centers with the flexibility to handle workloads of any scale with ease.  The future is 40GbE and the future is now.


2014 has certainly geared up for some exciting new technology and innovations… & chances are, this crystal ball of prophecies may just turn into a bright reality.