I came back Friday AM fresh from the FIRE conference Meeting of the Minds planning session in Seattle with a head filled with ideas about where the IT industry is headed and what it will mean for the networking industry. Thanks to an animated and robust dinner discussion, which included Mark Anderson, Ty Carlson and Michael Pfeffer, I came to the conclusion that three forces will be combining in the near future to drive a revolution in the network industry.
Before I get to the three forces let me digress a bit and talk about the simmering preconditions for takeoff. For Infrastructure 2.0 blog and Archimedius readers, these themes aren’t new; yet they need to be rolled up to put the “Horsemen” in proper context.
Preconditions for the Revolution
The Peak IT meme describes a collision between the ongoing expansion of IT infrastructure and rising per-unit management costs, from servers (see slide 4) to IP addresses. Peak IT suggests that rising costs risk crowding out necessary, ongoing investments in productivity. The result is a dynamic of continued falling productivity mixed with continued rising operations expenses, raising the specter of stagflation at the core of enterprise innovation.
The weak global economy could exacerbate the problem by shrinking investments in productivity even further for companies under new cost-cutting pressures. Yet a slow economy may have little impact on the proliferation of devices joining IT infrastructure.