PORTLAND, Ore.—NTT America recently predicted major themes for 2012, including continued consolidation after a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in 2011, mass migration to the clouds, and increased adoption of 100 Gbit Ethernet as a result of growing video popularity, especially in emerging markets.
One of the biggest trends in 2011—M&A—will continue in 2012 as service providers aim to migrate their businesses to cloud-based computers, according to NTT. In 2011, for instance, Verizon’s acquired Terremark, CenturyLink acquired Qwest and Savvis, Level 3 acquired Global Crossing, and Windstream acquired Paetec.
"M&A activity in 2011 can be traced back to two driving factors: scale and scope," said Michael Wheeler, vice president, NTT Communications Global IP Network, NTT America, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of NTT Communications Corp. (Tokyo) and a Tier 1 global IP network services provider. "The acquisitions by Qwest, Level 3 and Windstream were largely driven by scale--expanding their services into new markets in which they didn’t previously have a presence. Verizon, on the other hand, is an example of a scope expansion, since Terremark added services to the Verizon portfolio that it didn’t have before, specifically its cloud services."
"The next three to five years should look toward 100GigE as a method of reducing the complexity of networks," Wheeler said. "Reducing the complexity of running multiple ports and splitting content will not only be a cost-effective upgrade, but it will ensure that they maintain quality of service."
On the downside, the increased popularity of Internet connected devices will also increase the frequency and complexity of cyber attacks, especially Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) which today mostly enlists legions of bots on zombie PCs, but will expand to mobile devices in 2012.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.