It’s been about 30 years since it became clear that Internet Protocol (IP) was going to take over as the foundation for the network of the future. When we’re talking “future,” though, it seems a little dated to focus on something 30 years or more in the past. There’s been talk about a new approach to networking, a new network model, for at least a decade now. But is anything happening? Several factors and the future of networking probably rests somewhere in the mix.
One thing that seems almost certain to be a piece of our network future is the “white box.” Network devices today are usually provided by vendors who create a monolithic combination of software and hardware. You build networks with capital projects, meaning that those combination boxes have to depreciate over time (five years is a common period).