IDC analyst Jamie Jin said virtualisation will be a major trend across the sector, with the cost of networking for IT managers decreasing as a result.
“To address the challenges created by a virtualised server environment, network equipment vendors are introducing a simpler, flatter network architecture, which features virtual switches, unified fabric and virtual networking service appliances,” Jin said.
“As the new technologies bring operation efficiency and add flexibility and thus reduce operation costs I believe it will continue to be attractive for large enterprise and service providers in this year.”
Gartner's principal research analyst, Bjarne Munch, said while the cost of networking may well be reduced this year, 2011 will still be a challenge for IT managers when it comes to networking.
“The future of enterprise networking is not going to be any easier than the past,” Munch said.
“New technologies, such as LTE and WiMAX, and new products, such as the iPad, are emerging, but that's the easy part of the story. The complication that we are now experiencing is the convergence of technology domains that used to be separate as well as associated organisational domains that used to be separate.”
Ovum's senior analyst, Nicole McCormick, said the use of LTE will define 2011, with the battle against WiMAX crowing a distinct winner in 2010.
“LTE has emerged as the clear technology winner over WiMAX in terms of number of deployments,” she said.
“LTE has global scale and it will likely be adopted by all FDD mobile operators at some point, and even some CDMA operators such as US cellco Verizon and Japan's KDDI, giving it economies of scale that cannot be matched by WiMAX.”