Random Tech Predictions for 2013

I have a love-hate feeling about “predictions” about the upcoming year, especially tech predictions.  I don’t like media sensationalism of any kind, and a lot of the tech predctions are just that, sensational, extreme talk to draw in readers or viewers.  I’m choosing to go down a more subtle path, these are things I’ve thought about lately but will likely forget in the upcoming year, unless they actually happen, in which case I’d likely do an “ah, I remember thinking that may happen” gesture.  Additionally, many of these things are well underway already, but I have a mind like a FIFO pipe, so I’m gonna write them down here to remember to go back and look at them in a few months.  They’re sort of a mixed bag of stuff, in no particular order.

Lets call these, “plausible but not necessarily inevitable; possibly already happening”.

1. Google buys or invests in a mobile carrier.  I was thinking Sprint, but T-Mobile makes more sense because of their GSM network and more global compatibility.  Thins kind of thing has been proposed many times over the last few years and it still makes sense.

2.  Apple buys or invests in Twitter.  This makes a lot of sense to me and would solidify their place in the social networking arena.

3. Arista Networks  moves into a larger data center and cloud computing role.  I see big things for this company. they have a very solid pedigree, have an innovative business model and a very compelling product.   Which leads me to #4.

4. Talks of larger companies (Cisco, Juniper, Dell, Google) purchasing Arista Networks.  This hapens to many of the very innnovative companies.  Remember Procket?  Yeah, most folks don’t.  I had the same thoughts about them.  cisco purchased, absorbed and buried them.  I believe their routing pieces were shoved into the nexus.

5. SDN controllers become more mainstream.  BigSwitch stands more or less unchallenged in the commercial controller space and has done it right.  Seed the opensource community and make a commercial product for those that want it (i.e. businesses that need support, don’t want to deal with code).  It makes sense to me that this become a big market in the next few years, and next year will likely be the mad dash.  I expect to see SDN controllers from big names and hopefully some start ups.

6. Plexxi starts to become a more well known name.  They’ve got a really cool product and a unique and innovative feature set.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if a big name tried to buy them.

7. More and more “Ethernet Fabric” products emerge.  This is the new marketing favorite son and there are many new players here.  Sprinkle in SDN and “Cloud”, shake with “data center” and you’ve got a buzzword cocktail worthy of a king.

8. Productized optical (WDM) SDN starts to mature and become available. This is already happening in he background and on the periphery.

9. Skype is integrated into MS Lync.  I don’t think this is really unexpected or a surprise at all since it’s been announced.  I think it’ll happen in 2013, though.

10.  OpenStack starts taking a more publicized role in production cloud computing.  This is sort of inevitable and obvious, I think, and it’s already starting to happen.

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