The Network Rising

Michael Vizard

As enterprise computing continues to evolve, one word seems to best describe the issues that IT organizations are facing more than any other: instability.

On the client side of the IT equation, there is more diversity than ever thanks to rise of mobile computing. On the server side, virtualization is creating even more complexity to manage as IT organizations ponder a future where application workloads dynamically move back and forth between private and public cloud computing platforms.

Given these changing dynamics, Extreme Networks is making a case that says the network will soon emerge as the stable, unifying force in the highly dynamic world of enterprise computing. As networking equipment becomes more intelligent, Paul Hooper, chief marketing officer for Extreme Networks, notes that the underlying network infrastructure is going to be able to see and respond to changing application requirements on both the client and the server.

Hooper says that, on the whole, the networking industry has been slow to respond to these changes. But the next generation of routers and switches will create intelligent Ethernet fabrics through which IT organizations will be able to more effectively manage the chaos of IT.

That, of course, has some interesting personnel implications because, ultimately, it may mean that server and storage technologies will become subservient to the management technologies that will be embedded in the networking layer.

When all is said and done, IT management needs to be both ubiquitous and centralized. And the network layer is the best hope for accomplishing both of those goals.

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