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Software WAN reaches peak of hype cycle

This week, networking industry analysts assess the networking hype cycle, Black Hat 2016 and networking in the 1980s.

Andrew Lerner, an analyst at Gartner, discussed the release of the firm's Networking Hype Cycle 2016 report. He described 2016 as the year of SD-WAN, which he believes is at the peak of inflated expectations. Cloud-managed LANs, SDN and IPv6 dominated previous versions of the report.

Gartner counts between 500 and 1,000 companies that have adopted software WAN technology since it emerged on the scene two years ago, mainly in distributed North American enterprises. Currently, more than a dozen network vendors offer software WAN devices for the network edge. According to Lerner, SDN, which dominated the 2013 hype report, is in the trough of disillusionment. The report also identified emerging technologies such as brite-box switching, the Open Compute networking project, container networking and OpenConfig that have yet to reach their respective peaks.

Look more into Lerner's ideas on the network hype cycle.

Taking a look at this year's Black Hat conference

Doug Cahill, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., took a moment to assess the significant topics emerging at Black Hat 2016. Cahill said he will pay close attention to the next-generation cloud access security broker (CASB) market. Thanks to a flurry of activity in the marketplace, next-generation options are already in the pipeline, with vendors such as NetScope, Elastica and Skyhigh Networks incorporating a wide-range of features like DLP, threat detection and network and access management. Others, such as Bitglass, are beginning to offer mobile device management options as well.

In addition, Cahill anticipates a heavy focus on the internet of things at the conference, with new security frameworks from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, among others, intended to span device and data gateways. Other topics that he plans to examine at the conference include the monetizing of ransomware and the use of cloud connectors to enable microsegmentation for hybrid clouds.

Gear up for Black Hat with Cahill.

Looking back at 1980s networking

Ivan Pepelnjak, blogging on ipSpace, took a moment to revisit his first experiences with computer networking in the 1980s. Pepelnjak recalled working at Iskra Delta, learning how to copy files from one minicomputer to another. Growing up in Slovenia, Pepelnjak took part in a country-wide, enthusiast-built DECnet network.

Initially, the Slovenian Network (SloN), that Pepelnjak participated in relied on asynchronous modems and leased lines.

Baseband modems provided link speeds between 64 kbps and 1 Mbps, while synchronous ports remained simply too expensive. Today, the SloN still exists, but it has transformed, shifting to coaxial Ethernet cables and independent DECnet areas after the main DECnet area became overcrowded.

Look back at 1980s networking with Pepelnjak.

Next Steps

Understanding the cloud network hype cycle

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