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The emerging network management trends of 2020 revolve around the changing landscape of networking. This means the broadening of data-centers operations into the cloud and how to implicate the change. Shifts in business operations change how teams connect, how businesses approach security and the economics of networking. Take a look at what to expect in network management trends this year.

WiFi 6 and 5G

Wi-Fi 6 is making its way to the latest smartphones and Wi-Fi 6 access points will ship to consumers and businesses in 2020. 5G phones will start circulating on the market, giving consumers the ability to use either Wi-Fi 6 or 5G. Consumers can look forward to improved and easier to access Wi-Fi networks thanks to the adoption of new frequency bands that are ultra-fast using LTE and 5G technology. 2020 will also continue to see progress in the opening up of the 6GHz range for unlicensed usage.

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SD-WAN will become standard.


Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual wide area network architecture that allows businesses to use a combination of transport services such as MPLS, LTE, and broadband services to connect users to applications securely. SD-WAN was an emerging technology back in 2018, but in 2020 it has become one of the fastest-growing segments in the networking industry. It will be the standard for wide-area networking and how branch offices connect with public cloud resources.

Networking will become more automated.


Automation platforms have been in use for a while now to make managing networks easier. Networking will become more automated in 2020 as networking vendors perfect automation features. As the software-oriented network environment changes, so do the roles of network professionals. Users now have the ability to program software updates, rollouts, and program changes using centralized networking controllers run by APIs. Traditional network engineers with coding skills will need to grow their proficiency with emerging infrastructure and network engineering concepts.

Another management trend for 2020, albeit unpredicted, is the shift toward remote teams. Working from home has become the new normal since COVID-19 has disrupted how people go about their daily lives. Just because your commute now involves grabbing a coffee from the kitchen on your way to your home office doesn’t mean your work wardrobe has to be forgotten about.

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AI and ML will lead to autonomous networks.


Data is the backbone behind business decisions and the best way for businesses to gauge goals and results. Machine Learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can make predictions based on network data and act intelligently on those predictions respectively. Expect to see ML and AI built into networking platforms, making analytics tools more powerful.

WiFi 6 and 5G, ML and AI integration, SD-WAN, and automated networking are some of the emerging trends in network management for 2020.


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