iOS6 iPad

Apple iOS 6 Brings Opportunities and Challenges

iOS6 iPadAs you would expect, Apple’s latest release of its operating system, iOS 6, has created a huge demand from mobile users. While most of the hubbub has been about the cool new features for the new iPhone 5, iOS 6 also adds over 200 new features for the older Apple devices such as the iPhone 4S, iPad and iPod Touch.

What I find interesting is practically all of these new features improve the browser and email functions that impact the data-side of network communications. What this means for users (both consumers and enterprise BYOD), among other things, is faster and easier updates to their apps, and easier copying of URLs and photos into an email, or posting them to Facebook. The result for data centers and networks is greater amounts of traffic – 24/7.

We’ve all heard about the product delays associated with supply-chain issues Apple faces with the iPhone 5. But service providers are also facing bandwidth challenges from smartphones that bring a broader user base and richer product features.

Service provider and enterprise data centers and networks are the real unsung heroes that enable these cool devices that enrich our lives. If nobody thinks about them, they are doing their jobs well. If they are top-of-mind, that usually means there is a problem due to an outage or slow performance. They seem to be caught in a continual battle of keeping up with new devices and applications that drive demand for their always limited resources.

Having worked most of my career for companies that provide technologies to support data centers and networks, I have a strong appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scenes to help users have a great experience when they download a web application or remotely transfer a file. But my greatest pleasure is seeing the impact these beneficial technologies have on IT departments. It is the technology administrators and managers who get rewarded when everything is running smoothly, but get reamed when user complaints spike and things go wrong.

This is why I’m so jazzed to see the major advances going on in the networking industry. With the decoupling of networking software and hardware, with new architectures and systems that are leveraging virtualization and new Software Defined Networking (SDN), it is truly an exciting time to be in the industry.

Who knows, some day, IT infrastructure might be as hip as the cool user devices we find so enamoring.

Image source: flickr (Sean MacEntee)