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Top 5 network related things I'm most excited about in 2015

by on ‎12-29-2014 11:00 PM

Below is a list of the 5 network things I am looking forward to in 2015 (in no particular order).


  • Analytics – Now this term has been around for a while but I think it will start to see some traction.  People are seeing the real value in storing lots of information to be able to analyse and make business decisions based on this.  From an ISP view we have had this type of information for a while (think netflow information to decide who to peer with).  It’s only now we are realising what we can do with it and with Network Engineers looking to learn a programming language to keep ahead of the curve re SDN/NFV then we can write our own programs to extrapolate the information we require rather than looking at off the shelf programs or asking your developers to do it for you.


  • White box switching – With the recent announcement that Juniper has launched a switch based on hardware from the Open Compute Project and companies like Cumulus and Big Switch contributing to Open Network Linux and Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) we are starting to see the decoupling of the vendor software from the hardware they sell. This move I think has been prompted by the adoption of x86 architecture within the switch and router space from several vendors.


  • Automation - With the rise of SDN/NFV and the DevOps ‘movement’, Network Engineers like myself are looking at automation tools like AnsiblePuppet and Chef  to automate the day-to-day tasks of their job, from router turn up’s to network changes.  The more we can automate this the less chance there is of fat fingering and the ability to produce standardised, repeatable work will give us less headaches in the long run. Thankfully having a mainly Juniper Network I can leverage the likes of Junos PyEZ and Netconf to help achieve this.


  • GPON – The UK has woken up to the fibre revolution with the likes of BT providing FTTC/FTTP.  Working with Fluency has shown me that business customers are now regularly asking for higher capacity access circuits to protect their future bandwidth requirements.  This requires business ISP’s like ourselves to look at higher density access stacks like GPON. GPON or Gigabit Passive Optical Network is a point-to-multipoint access technology allowing the use of passive splitters that allow a single feed from an exchange or datacenter to serve multiple business premises.  Having this type of technology should hopefully drive the growth of Gigabit access services while keeping the costs at a reasonable level.


  • City Wide Free Wi-Fi – If you are one of the lucky ones to already have this then I will try not to let any loathing and resentment spill out Smiley Happy  In the UK there is no coherent strategy to deliver Wi-Fi enabled cities on a national scale so each individual city is looking to implement it in their own way.  Fingers crossed it will be done in a way that I only need to authenticate once when in the city and not every few hundred metres when I switch onto a new AP!

About the Author
  • Anthony is an Enterprise Network Architect working in the Emergency Services sector. He contributes back to the community by blogging here and on various platforms.
  • Chris Jones is certified with Juniper as JNCIE-ENT #272, and previously with Cisco Systems as CCIE #25655 (R&S). He has a decade of industry experience with both Cisco and Juniper products and solutions, designing and building networks for both small and large enterprises as well as major service providers. Chris is the author of the Proteus Networks JNCIE-ENT Preparation Workbook, Day One: Junos for IOS Engineers, as well as a co-author on Day One: Juniper Ambassadors' Cookbook For Enterprise. He was also a technical reviewer for Junos Enterprise Routing 2nd Edition, as well as a number of other Juniper Day One books. Chris can be found on Twitter @IPv6Freely, and his technical blog is located at His professional website is
  • I am one of a small team of Network Engineers working for Lumison Ltd, a UK ISP/MSP based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have been with the company for almost 6 years moving from frontline support to the Managed Services team dealing with customer network design and implementation before talking up the role of Network Engineer. As well as the JNCIE-ENT certification.
  • Enterprise Security Architect & Juniper Ambassador. Designing & deploying “keep the bad guys out” technologies. Delivering elephants and not hunting unicorns.