1. Ethernet bandwidth demands will continue to increase, making 100 Gigabit Ethernet the new norm.
100 Gigabit Ethernet will replace 10-Gigabit as the new standard for “ultra-high performance” networks. As providers continue to expand their nationwide networks, enterprises and other large organizations will move quickly to deploy 100 Gbps speeds in order to gain better reliability and performance to support back-end business operations, as well as a strong focus on providing customer facing offerings such as free Wi-Fi. 2018 will see an increase in highly complex, very robust, high speed networks being deployed in order to enhance customer experiences, such as what the Atlanta Braves deployed at their new, 41,000-seat SunTrust Park and adjacent commercial complex, the Battery Atlanta.
2. Increased adoption of managed services at the enterprise level.
Managed services are no longer just for small and mid-sized companies who may not have the dedicated staff to support IT operations. As more companies increase their number of remote sites and branch locations, they will see the value in not having to manage and maintain business services, as well as the complex networks supporting them, when connecting widely distributed enterprises. An example of this is Taco Bell, who turned to managed services for more than 6,200 retail and corporate locations.
3. Demand for Gigabit speeds over coaxial cable will grow, enabled by advancements in DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
The standard for Gigabit performance over coaxial cable will become more widely implemented in 2018 and bring Gigabit performance to more businesses that don’t have fiber at their building.
4. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN)
Both will also become mainstream in 2018, as more forward-thinking providers recognize the vision of this technology and add it to their offerings.
5. Companies will place a higher value on reliability than speed.
It’s not enough to just have fast service, it has to be reliable. End users and customers using corporate networks have come to expect five nines reliability. As more organizations turn to software defined infrastructures, and run more hosted applications and operations on their networks, the need for stability and reliability will become the paramount feature required by customers.