The Coming Traffic Visibility Era

2012 is almost here and it promises to continue the ‘techno-social’ revolution that started a few years back. This revolution is changing our lives at home and in the office; it is blurring the line between our personal and our business lives, and it is changing the way IT services will be delivered in enterprises and service providers around the globe, forever. 

A few years ago we were all hearing about a new model – the model of “IT as a utility”. This represented an approach to deliver IT services in the same way as we consider electricity or plumbing a utility. Many in the IT industry looked with some doubt at the new model and with good cause – this utility based model would change the way we deploy, manage, account and audit the services, platforms and technologies that we deploy to serve our user communities. But the doubt (and fear) was short lived as the topic died from discussion about as quickly as it had risen.

However, a new phenomenon started in our user communities that, in many ways, has moved IT service delivery into the utility model. With the arrival of a plethora of new user-centric smart devices and systems, the edge of the IT world started to rapidly commoditize. Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) models arose in enterprises everywhere resulting in the edge device now being owned, provisioned, managed and configured by the end-user. At the same time, the wave of virtualization at the core of the Data Center truly commoditized the server and compute infrastructure as virtualization provided an abstraction between the hardware that was the heart of the buying decision 5 years ago, and the application where the true business value resides. So, as quickly as the devices on the enterprise edge became a commodity, so did the compute hardware in the Data Center. 

And what became clear from these changes was that the value delivered by IT to the business was not the device provisioning, management or support, but in the information that those devices required. Information that is delivered from applications across the globe to handheld devices used by the corporate employee in the airport lounge, the corporate headquarters or at home.

This information creates the true IT value; the information is the value. 

I would like to suggest that we saw this wave of change within enterprise and service provide IT infrastructure when we started Gigamon back on a white board in 2004, but we didn’t. However, what we did see was a future in which it is critical to establish and maintain visibility to information, to traffic and to data everywhere. Although the consumerization and, to some degree, commoditization of IT has changed the infrastructure landscape in a way that few predicted 8-10 years ago, the significance and value of the information and traffic that flows across global networks has proven our vision to be true.  The visibility to the traffic – to information in flight – is one of the highest priorities for the IT professional in organizations of any size.

So, as 2011 comes to a close and 2012 awaits, at Gigamon we are looking forward to the exciting wave of changes that are ahead as the Enterprise IT service delivery models and the associated solutions provided by Service Providers continue to evolve and develop, and through innovative new Visibility Fabric solutions, we create exciting and compelling services and solutions for our user communities.  

— Ted Ho —

One thought on “The Coming Traffic Visibility Era

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