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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kevin Tolly

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?