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Musings from Murawski

Frank Murawski has been part of the Information Technology and Communications field longer than many installers have been on this earth. For the past 20 years, FTM Consulting Inc., the consulting practice he runs out of his office in...


July 1, 2012  


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Frank Murawski has been part of the Information Technology and Communications field longer than many installers have been on this earth. For the past 20 years, FTM Consulting Inc., the consulting practice he runs out of his office in Hummelstown, Pa., has focused on the U.S. structure cabling marketplace.

His reports cover product forecasts and new product developments for both copper and optical fiber and in addition, a number of companies including DuPont, Corning and Tyco Electronics have used his services. As a member of the Society of Industry Leaders, he also provides networking structured cabling systems (SCS) supplier analysis to major investment firms.

He has witnessed a great deal in his time, but as he himself admits in a guest column on p. 26, nothing as pervasive as the combination of cloud computing and advances in wireless. According to Murawski, the combination of the two could soon put a dent in the entire SCS marketplace.

“I have been involved in the IT market for nearly 50 years, with the last 25 years focusing in on the structured cabling systems market,” he writes. “Over this period, I have witnessed many changes, but none such as this, which will change the enterprise network to the extent that all network providers much rethink how they will conduct their business in the future. I believe that these two new technologies will have more of an impact on the enterprise network than the emergence of the Internet or the introduction of PCs.”

Murawski’s analysis indicates that copper and fiber will be affected differently over the next five years; however the net result will be a reduction in the SCS marketplace. Growth over the five-year period, he predicts, will decrease from 4.6% to 3.3% (Note: While his findings are U.S.-only, it is likely what happens there will certainly occur in this country and other regions around the world.)

“For the past three years, large enterprises have been investing more than US$100 billion in cloud computing services. Until now, most is being trialed to gain experience for future deployment. Cloud computing services are expected to start being widely deployed next year.

“Wireless mobile devices have been around for a time now, but until recently did not support the Gigabit Ethernet speeds required in most enterprise networks. BYOD (bring your own device) is rapidly being deployed at many enterprises. Employees wanting to bring their own mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets to access the enterprise network, are being forced on IT departments.”

He calls it the “Post-PC-Cloud Computing Era,” and as you will see in this issue, change is happening in the board room and in the data centre itself.

Cisco CEO John Chambers referred to the storm of change it in his keynote speech at the company’s annual user conference held recently (see p. 6) as did Bjarne Munch, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Commenting on a new Cisco cloud initiative, Munch warned that network infrastructure must rapidly adapt to fully support future enterprise communications systems: “The impact of new infrastructure and application strategies on the network cannot be overstated. To prepare for these changes the enterprise network must be modernized and enterprises must plan for the retirement of legacy technologies.”

On that same theme, Denise Deveau notes on this issue’s cover story that economic uncertainty is doing nothing to stop the onslaught of data that organizations will need to manage; or the investments that service providers are making in top-of-the-line data centres.

All caused by what she describes as the “ever-escalating data boom.”