The holiday season is as good a time as any to take stock of what we witnessed in 2017, and from a technology perspective it was a year unlike any other. We saw the value of crypto currencies skyrocket and the opening of a crypto-futures market. The first shipments of 400G technologies into the wide-area-network with AT&T and Vodafone New Zealand, the continued deployment of Software-Defined Networking, a technology we\u2019ve long championed, an early example of augmented reality go viral with Pok\u00e9mon Go and Virtual Reality start to reshape the way we interact with the world around us \u2013 such as changing how we watch live sports.\nBut every advance in technology, particularly in the networking space, only serves to highlight those that have yet to make the leap forward. In the theme of the season, you could say these legacy applications and technologies are on the \u2018naughty\u2019 list.\nThe Naughty List\nNetworks that aren\u2019t prepared for the next application to go viral.\nPok\u00e9mon Go was the early warning sign that networks need to be architected to support not just today\u2019s user experiences, but those anticipated in the future. Unfortunately, many networks still struggle with simple present-day over-the-top streaming services \u2013 those who still suffer from buffering issues while watching HD and UHD video can attest to this. It means these networks are unprepared for the next Pok\u00e9mon Go i.e. the application that comes out of nowhere and suddenly chews up all available bandwidth.\nSecurity gaps resulting in vulnerabilities and breaches\nWe\u2019ve seen many high-profile hacks and breaches of big-name companies dominate the landscape in 2018. And while a lot of focus has been on protecting data while it\u2019s at rest \u2013 i.e. on servers or in the cloud \u2013 not enough focus has been placed on protecting data in flight. Hackers are able to tap into a fiber run in mere minutes with the right hardware and as defenses become more sophisticated, attackers will increasingly look to steal that data while it\u2019s on the move.\nClosed architectures with missing or unpublished APIs\nDespite the rise of software-driven network elements and the start of the virtualization of network functions, we still have some ways to go before our networks are truly open. Closed network architectures make it almost impossible to adapt networks in a timely manner (say nothing of on-the-fly), and ensure that our networks are constantly behind the 8-ball as the rest of the world develops technologies and applications that legacy hardware can\u2019t keep up with. Closed networks also prevent best-in-breed network designs by preventing choice.\nInefficient, power consuming networks\nAside from the obvious environmental impacts, power-consuming networks are costly and only getting costlier as the price of electricity continues to rise. And we aren\u2019t doing anything to slow it down: to wit, the energy needed to mine for bitcoin is \u201cconsuming power at an annual rate of 32TWh\u2014about as much as Denmark.\u201d\nThankfully, there\u2019s a new wave of \u2018nice\u2019 list technologies and architectures that will serve to render those on the naughty list all but obsolete.\nThe Nice List\n5G is just around the corner\nNetwork operators are starting to get their ducks lined up on the 5G front, with MNOs around the world beginning initial 5G network trials, which will continue and expand well into 2018. Why is this important beyond the obvious speed benefits?\nBecause 5G has the potential to deliver end-user experiences that haven\u2019t been possible with today\u2019s networks. \u00a0To give you a sense of what 5G is targeting, when compared to today\u2019s 4G networks, 5G mobile networks are expected to offer up to 100x higher user data rates, up to 100x more connected devices (humans and machines), up to 5x reduction in latency, up to 1000x more data volume, and a perceived network availability of 99.999 percent. 5G will also unleash game-changing applications like virtual and augmented reality while bringing broadband service to geographies that previously simply could not afford it.\nEncrypting data in-flight\nEncrypting sensitive data while in transit is essential to an overall data security strategy, especially with data constantly moving between data centers. Encryption at the optical layer during transport can now provide a strong and effective safeguard, offering an additional level of protection to enable end-to-end security.\u00a0\nOpen Architectures that leverage APIs\nAs hardware on the networks reaches end-of-life or needs an upgrade, you will see less proprietary technology on our networks and more open, software-defined networks that leverage APIs and commodity hardware. Further, the rise of Virtualized Network Function (VNF) ecosystems means networks can adapt far quicker with, say, a new firewall solution or router, that can be downloaded to hardware rather than the legacy rip-and-replace method, which is time-consuming and costly.\nEnergy efficient networking technology\nNetwork providers will soon begin to address operating costs with the incorporation of energy-efficient networking technology. This includes advances in data center cooling technologies, converged infrastructure solutions and hardware on the network itself such as routers and switches that consume far less energy \u2013 in the case of some packet switches, less than half the energy \u2013 than legacy alternatives. Vendors are bringing energy efficiency to the party, and it\u2019s on the network operators to make it a priority.\u00a0\nNetwork automation\nThe stage is now set for the next evolution in networking \u2013 using hardware, software, analytics and services to make the network run more efficiently, be more responsive and act on operators\u2019 policies faster than ever before. End users are asking for more \u2013 and networks are being built to adapt to these requests as they occur, not days or months later.\nThere\u2019s a clear line in the networking sand separating the old and the new, the \u201cnaughty\u201d and the \u201cnice.\u201d But that line is beginning to blur as the technology adapts and network operators shift toward the new age. Hopefully we\u2019ll look back on this list in 12 months\u2019 time and struggle to come up with a naughty list at all \u2013 and with the rate at which technology is advancing, that\u2019s almost within reach.