I have never written down my predictions at the start of any year. Nor have I ever written down my new-year's resolutions although I definitely could use improvement. I find that each year is just as chaotic as the previous one and with technology changing as rapidly as it does predictions are sometimes pointless. I was reading last week's Network World magazine and the title article "Outlook 2010". It started me thinking about what we can expect this new year.
It is easy to predict that the industry will continue to see an increased use of virtualization and mobile communications/computing technologies. Green computing/networking will grow hotter as energy becomes more costly. Data centers will be the focus of innovations in 2010 on the networking, storage, and energy efficiency fronts. Applications will continue to move to almost exclusively web delivery which will perpetuate cloud computing and SAAS business models. However, other predictions, especially surrounding IPv6, will be more difficult to anticipate.
IPv4 addresses will start to run out
The networking industry has been predicting the depletion of IPv4 addresses for over 10 years now. It has been a bit like "the boy who cried wolf" and now no one wants to hear about this subject. However, I suspect that in 2010 at least one large service provider will run out of IPv4 addresses for their subscribers. Service providers are aggressively developing IPv6 services and we will see many of those hit the market this year. Along these lines we will see more double-NATing in 2010 than ever previously used. That will spell job security for anyone who has to troubleshoot IPv4 end-to-end connectivity issues.
IPv6 Internet traffic will triple
IPv6 Internet traffic doubled in 2009 and we will continue to see the traffic increase. Therefore, I predict that during 2010 we will see IPv6 Internet traffic triple. I feel that should be easy to achieve because there is very little IPv6 traffic on the Internet compared to IPv4 traffic. This prediction could easily be fulfilled if Google migrates You Tube to IPv6.
IPv6 Internet routes will increase
In 2009 the number of IPv6 routes in the Internet backbone routing table just about doubled to about 2000 routes. However, due to the hierarchical nature of IPv6 it is unlikely that the number of IPv6 Internet routes will double in 2010. Regardless, I predict we will see the number of IPv6 Internet routes reach 3000 in 2010.
IPv6 training will become popular
If you have not started your learning about IPv6, 2010 is the time. I have said before many times that if you don't intend to retire in the next 10 years then you will need to learn about IPv6. Conversely, if you are going to retire in the next 5-to-10 years then you can safely run out your IT career on your present knowledge of IPv4. The problem is that there currently is not a wide availability of IPv6 training. There are really only a handful of companies that provide IPv6 training. Much of the training that was developed for IPv6 many years ago hasn't been updated recently. Therefore, those training companies will need to continue to update their materials to keep pace with the deployment of IPv6.
Increased interest in Microsoft DirectAccess
One of the IPv6-enabled systems available in Microsoft Windows7 and Server 2008 R2 is DirectAccess. I predict that in 2010 Microsoft DirectAccess will be viewed as the "killer-app" for IPv6. DirectAccess leverages IPv6 to create a seamless enterprise VPN that gives remote workers that in-the-office experience they cannot achieve through IPv4 VPNs and NAT. The system takes some work to set up and configure but its benefits
As the old Chinese proverb goes; "may you live in interesting times". This statement will never be truer than in 2010. We can expect an exciting year filled with new innovations, mergers and acquisitions, and lots to talk about. My seat belt is fastened and I am ready for the challenge of this new year.