Paul Stevens, Advantech
Next-generation networks are evolving rapidly, with a number of emerging technological trends creating new challenges for operators, service providers, and in particular, network equipment manufacturers. The move towards more software-driven networks using Network Intelligence (NI) technologies running on inexpensive commodity computer platforms promises to create a more flexible, efficient network infrastructure to deliver new services, greater security, and reduced costs. At the same time, workload consolidation strategies and technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) are all changing the shape of the next generation of network system architectures. The goal of generating deeper levels of intelligence across all types of network infrastructure is aimed at helping service providers improve traffic management and optimization, policy enforcement, billing, Quality of Service (QoS), and security; it is almost a foregone conclusion that this newfound visibility into data will create further opportunity for new and powerful revenue-generating applications.