The year 2013 will be remembered for many events, such as American scientists creating the first lab-grown body part using a 3D printer, Prof Peter Higgs - one of the scientists who discovered the Higgs Boson particle at CERN - winning the Nobel Prize for physics and Microsoft's new Xbox One games console selling one million units in a single day, thanks to its promise of unmatched game-play and interactive user experience.
These feats illustrate how much we rely on technology in every aspect of our lives, whether that includes scientific research or entertainment, and how much IT networks - the delivery vehicle for the world's data - impact every person on the planet. However, while 2013 confirmed technology's importance, what does 2014 have in store for us?
Sean Ong, Malaysia country manager at Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) looks into his crystal ball to outline the top technology trends we should watch out for in 2014:
1) Network Functions Virtualisation and Software-Defined "Everything" Will Gain Momentum
Globally, and specifically in Asia-Pacific and Japan, exploration of Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined technologies (network, virtualisation, data centre, storage and infrastructure) will evolve from being simply "research", and enterprises - particularly in the service provider space - will begin to roll out production deployments.
With more use cases, we will likely see larger deployments commissioned. As an industry, we are seeing a shift toward open, more flexible, efficient, highly programmable and elastic network infrastructure solutions with key initiatives such as OpenStack and the OpenDaylight Project as well as disruptive technologies that will ultimately benefit organisations.
At the same time, we expect NFV to gain prominence and drive new revenue opportunities for service providers by pulling managed services into the cloud, drastically reducing costs and increasing service agility. Although it may still be too early for full SDN deployments, a key decision making criteria for infrastructure will be to ensure that infrastructure will support SDN going forward. Open architecture will be key to this future-proof strategy.