Networking & Technology Predictions 2024
As we approach 2024, the networking and connectivity landscape continues to hold exciting trends and themes, with everything set to get faster, smarter, more secure and agile. North’s networking and connectivity specialist, Nick O’Hara highlights the trends and themes we can expect to see in 2024:
From a speed point of view, bandwidth requirements only ever take one direction. In the X-reality world, which includes Augmented and Virtual Reality, the demand for bandwidth is skyrocketing. As more things move to the cloud, individuals will require greater bandwidth for seamless experiences.
Resiliency is cemented into any reasonable network and connectivity solution, regardless of the networking technology used or the underlying access technology. Resiliency and failover have become mainstream in networking, but with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) networks can now make decisions based on historical data. Adaptive slicing and QoS profiling will enable self-healing and self-configuring networks.
As we become more connected, securing devices and technology will be more crucial than ever. With the advent that everything is connected to the Internet (IoT) lateral movement attacks are now easier. Ensuring correct segmentation of the network and securing end devices, with adaptable and evolutionary zero-day attack technologies should be at the heart of every network-connected technology.
Gone are the days of fixed locations; we are now in the era of agile/mobile connectivity models. The pandemic has accelerated this shift, with more organisations moving toward agile workforces. Taking the Public Sector as an example, more local authorities are closing or leasing redundant buildings and moving to agile working. However, transitions take time and often don’t coincide with connectivity contract renewals, so having flexible connectivity options like 5G, Satellite, or Microwave allows for mobility and adaptability.
As the 5G rollout gathers momentum, it becomes a viable option for larger sites requiring agility, especially sites that require agility with the connection. Combined with smart overlay networks, 5G provides rapid deployment and additional bandwidth for various scenarios. Sites that require immediate connectivity, such as those with failed connectivity or pop-up sites like festivals, can benefit from an out-of-band connection for communications. In addition, organisations that have suffered a cyberattack and have temporarily closed their doors may also require an out-of-band connection for secure communication.
5G is set to play a valuable role in IoT deployment. Historically technology grows the available bandwidth. i.e. 3G enabled smartphones to connect to and browse the internet and to send data seamlessly from our pockets, and 4G provided the capability to stream high-definition videos and our content grew to the available bandwidth, with the evolution of 5G, IoT could follow this trend with the data collected through IoT growing in line with the available bandwidth.
AI & ML
Whilst Machine Learning (ML) learns from historical datasets to predict the probability of events, Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings human-like decision-making capabilities. Both AI and ML are set to play a crucial role in the future of network design, troubleshooting, and optimisation…
Network design/planning – Networks will be sized and designed using AI and ML to create network solutions to meet the pre-determined requirements. Whether this be radio planning using digital twins or planning of a Wide Area Network backbone.
Troubleshooting - Using historical data and data traffic forecasts, predictions and failure rates, AI/ML will help troubleshoot networks and predict when failures will occur.
Network Optimisation – Networks will self-optimise based on historical data and data traffic patterns.
In a world where cybercriminals are the architects of chaos, cybersecurity is forever evolving, and the cybersecurity world must respond accordingly.
With AI being used for operational tasks it will also be targeted by hackers. Cybersecurity developers will use AI to address vulnerabilities and warn users about risks, such as phishing emails and poor cybersecurity choices.
In summary, ML and AI will have a significant impact on all technologies, not just networking and connectivity – and it’s fair to say that 2024 holds massive potential for faster, smarter, more secure and agile networks.
19 December 2023