Opinion: What will rate in 2008?

It's time to look into the crystal ball to see what exciting products will be coming your way next year

It's time to look into the crystal ball to see what exciting products will be coming your way next year. In my case, I can skip the crystal ball and just look at the testing projects at The Tolly Group that are wending their way to you. Breakthroughs in performance and functions abound.

A trend we've seen in 2007 will continue in 2008 - the availability of enterprise-class technology packaged and priced for the small-to-midsize (SMB) company environment. (A corollary is the availability of carrier-class technology packaged and priced for the enterprise.) Switching, SSL-VPNs, wireless LAN technology - all can be had at prices so low they would have seemed like misprints just a few years ago.

Still, this does not mean that all switches are created equal, for example, and that price should be the only criterion. While multiple products are based on similar components, vendors often put significant added value into the finished product.

Open source will be creeping further into many enterprise and SMB products. Already in 2007 we've benchmarked open source routing code that can outperform the market leader. Given the vast amount and generally good quality of the open source code available, it makes sense for vendors to take advantage of it rather than reinvent the wheel.

Along with the open source movement, we are witnessing a resurgence of the general-purpose computer as the platform for such specialized network functions as firewalls and intrusion-prevention devices. Since the 1990s, the trend has been toward using specialised, hardware ASICs in such devices to deliver the desired high throughput and low latency. Back then, general-purpose computers simply didn't have the horsepower to process data fast enough.

ASICs did the job just fine, but the fact that they were produced in limited quantities (relative to general PCs, certainly) usually meant a steep price premium. Additionally, the entire process of design, fabrication and testing (with multiple passes at each) often meant a delay in time to market. Finally, major changes could require new ASICs - not a cheap proposition for the customer.

This approach won't go away and can be the best way to go for certain applications, but the general-computing vendors will soon turn the price and performance charts on their heads. The current crop of multicore processors now is being used to provide the brute-force power to enable software based security products to deliver throughput heretofore seen only in ASIC-oriented, hardware-based devices. Even if such offerings don't change your point of view about what you should deploy, they should help you get a better price from your hardware vendor.

Finally, the number of data security options available will continue to make your head spin. We've already moved from intrusion to extrusion. Now you'll find devices tuned to read specific types of data streams.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kevin Tolly

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?