By Steve Pao – VP of Product Management
As 2012 comes to a close, we want to take time to reflect.
Below, we’ve identified some of the biggest technology trends we’re seeing in the150,000+ organizations around the world that make up our customer base.
Virtualization will continue to change how we think about networking. The changes brought on by virtualization that have already affected compute and storage will continue to move to the network. While the term ‘software defined networking‘ has become a buzzword of sorts, we are seeing many practical implications, including localizing security close to the resources being protected. For example, over half of our SSL VPN unit volume is sold as virtual appliance today. In fact, we have virtualized most of our network-facing product line, including our next generation firewalls, Web application firewalls, server load balancers, spam filters and Web filters.
Growth in data will continue to change how we think about retention. In our personal lives, data growth has forced hard disks and the cloud to obsolete the old floppy disks, ZIP drives and CD-ROMs. Similarly, in our corporate lives, trends are forcing obsolescence of tape backup and the transport of those tapes offsite. At Barracuda Networks, our fastest growing product line has been Barracuda Backup combining disk-based backup featuring data deduplication with offsite replication to the cloud. We see this trend continuing.
The next generation firewall will become mainstream. At the enterprise level, many vendors (including Barracuda Networks) have been evangelizing for next generation firewalls that can monitor and control policy across both users and real applications. This technology will trickle down to midmarket buyers in 2013 and replace the heritage Unified Threat Management (UTM) products that simply combine disparate functions into a single box. Watch this space for more from us, too.
Businesses will have to get smart about social media usage in the workplace. A Barracuda Labs survey revealed that while 86% of respondents felt that employee behavior on social networks can impact company security, 75% of those respondents¹ workplaces allowed Twitter usage and 69% of the respondents¹ workplaces allowed Facebook usage. In 2013, Web security should continue its growth and many businesses will start to leverage social media archiving technologies as part of their e-Discovery and compliance initiatives.
Android and iOS will continue to impact business applications. Most of our customers appreciate that mobility and BYOD extend both the hours and productivity of their workforces with relatively little expense. However, taking advantage of mobile platforms requires the ability to access corporate networks, access stored data and browse the Internet safely.
We, like other vendors, have mobility initiatives across our security and data protection product lines.
Cloud. Beyond the cloud hype, organizations will get very practical about how to use the cloud. 2013 will be the era of cloud systems management, extending the elastic compute cloud to security and enabling the efficient use of cloud applications (e.g., salesforce.com) from within very busy networks.
Are these trends in line with what you’re seeing? We’d love to hear from you!