After a slow start, thanks, as always, to analyst and supplier hype, 2018 was the year when software-defined networking (SDN) – or, more accurately, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology – began to achieve something close to lift-off in the enterprise.
Over the past 12 months, more and more CIOs and network managers began to seriously evaluate and deploy SDN technology, which promises to be transformative to how networks are built, run, monitored and managed.
Elsewhere, our annual look back at some of the best network content on Computer Weekly this year uncovers some familiar themes. The internet of things (IoT) continued its push into the enterprise, and we explored how it is being used in the context of other parts of the IT stack.
And it almost goes without saying that the worlds of networking and security go hand-in-hand.
There was innovation in more established parts of the network as well, with new Wi-Fi network standards starting to roll out.
Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 networking stories of 2018:
1. Cloud culture calls for flexible networks
Cloud-based workloads demand more flexibility, so how can businesses rethink their WAN strategies to accommodate this?
2. Net gain? Why networks matter when it comes to hyper-convergence
The rise of hyper-convergence is radically changing how enterprises manage their IT estates, but its effect on the network has yet to be fully realised.
3. Network security in the digital transformation era
Network security has always been a core focus for CISOs and IT security managers, but in an era of digital transformation, we examine if network security strategies are keeping up with new and emerging cyber threats.
4. Need for speed: designing a modern campus LAN
Just like datacentres before them, campus LANs are increasingly being defined by virtualisation and software-based controls. Next to this shift, the hardware also continues to improve as network owners look to keep pace with user demand.
5. How the internet of things and edge data impact data storage
Remote device data poses challenges for the datacentre, but edge processing, analytics and the cloud can help businesses profit from the promise of the internet of things,
6. When networks collide: how M&A brings infrastructure together
Enterprise IT runs on networking, so fixing up the network should be a priority issue during mergers and acquisitions – but that’s not always the case. Find out how the pros manage it.
7. Intelligent automation and the WAN: Is SD-WAN moving mainstream?
Take-up of software-defined networking in corporates is slower than expected. Where have we reached on the journey to software-controlled networks – and SD-WAN in particular – becoming the norm?
8. Securing the SD-WAN: The next network challenge
Every time an enterprise weighs up whether or not to try SD-WAN, security is an essential part of the picture.
9. What does the 802.11ax wireless standard mean for your network?
The publication of the 802.11ax standard will pave the way for the next generation of wireless technology, but what does it mean for enterprise networks?
10. The future of network-connected device security
The proliferation of poorly secured network-connected devices has prompted the UK government to publish new best practice guidelines. Do these go far enough?