Clouds & Wires: Elfiq’s Predictions for 2013

elfiq As the IT world continues on its path to depend more on bandwidth to deliver services in a distribution fashion, Elfiq Networks put in place four predictions which have a very decent chance of coming true.

1-      The cloud love story will hit a bump:

Everybody loves cloud applications, from small apps like Evernote to corporate standards such as, but most organizations when deploying cloud services to their users (public, private or hybrid) often forget to plan for redundancy.

And this is where the idyllic relationship will hit the proverbial bump on the road, what happens when your users & services can’t connect?  The cloud will save you a fortune but ISP downtime costs will outweigh some of the gains.  Planning for redundancy to connect to the cloud with multiple ISPs is no longer an option, unless you wish to feel the wrath of your peers.

2-      Private network redundancy growth:

MPLS networks, VPNs and such technologies to interconnect offices has become routine in today’s IT world, but have grown in importance through the centralization of datacenters in the last years, hence the branch no longer has on-site services.

Over the last six months we have received a significant increase from organizations looking for redundancy as their WAN now hold the key to their employee’s productivity.  The telephone is on the WAN, email, web apps, etc.  When an office with 125 employees is no longer connected and is starving for bandwidth, the water cooler costs increase vertically quite rapidly.

3-      Mobile bandwidth adoption:

LTE is now available in many major metro areas and throughput is very much improved (yours truly has seen 14Mpbs symmetrical downtown Montreal on his phone), opening up opportunities to be a bit more creative.

When all else fails, what about 3G/4G as an option?  Indeed, and we’re seeing a lot of traction for this especially for critical applications.  Yes, costs can be a concern but if you use this type of connectivity on a per-need basis (all the ISPs are down, switch to mobile broadband).

4-      Application sensitivity:

Throwing bandwidth at the problem of saturation may not be the smartest move when blindly done, so let’s see what we can do with what we have.  Application-layer traffic shaping (think of this as Layer-7 QoS) is a great way to go and is becoming more affordable.  Yes you can augment your 10Mbps to 20Mbps, but did you just give bad traffic more room to play?

Agree?  Disagree?  Please post your thoughts in the comments area!

Thanks and have a great 2013

JP Hebert
Elfiq Networks