A Network Engineer’s Morning in 2025
In the Year 2025…
It’s Dec. 1, 2025, a pleasant, sunny day. My glasses show me the weather report in front of my eyes. They also show news customized for my location and interests — virtual reality (VR) is common in contact lenses and glasses now. Smartphones are long gone, and I no longer have to carry special devices to connect to Internet.
By now, an estimated 100 billion devices are connected to the Internet, ranging from almost every household device to buildings, cars, train and jets on the component level. As I get out of bed, sensors embedded inside my body send data to a medical cloud, which in turn activates my 3-D printers to make the breakfast best suited for my body. Almost everything through which data can be generated is connected to a private cloud, controlled by its manufacturer and synchronized through my VR in my glasses.
Even my Internet-enabled fridge is connected to tools in the manufacturer’s cloud that alert me regarding what it will be buying from online stores depending on my appetite. These sensors and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices around me are connected to the cloud via a 6G network that mobile operators now offer. Internet Protocol (IP) version 6 has long replaced IP version 4, so now I don’t have worry about those anymore. Almost every IoT device has its own IP and is connected to its respective cloud through an encryption key that is calculated based on my biometrics, which is nearly impossible to hack.
The concept of having a private data center is also long gone. Everything now operates in a cloud environment. In fact, it’s been a few years since I have seen a data center. Most of my meetings are held via hologram devices; I don’t really go to office anymore to monitor my network.
Even if I have to travel, I don’t need to drive my car. Self-driving cars are history now. For medium-distance travel, I prefer traveling via a train that operates at the same speed as 2015’s commercial jets — and commercial jets nowadays travel at hypersonic speeds. My daily calendar is so synchronized that I don’t even have to plan trips or buy any tickets; everything happens on the back end. I just have to sit back, relax and enjoy my journey.
What About the Network?
In the workplace, routers, switches, firewalls, telephony, servers, optimization tools and other resources are now in a single box and operate at petabyte speed. I recently learned that one of the biggest networking manufacturers is releasing zettabyte devices, as well. These multipurpose network devices have become so smart that, based on network traffic in and out, they can sense data and configure required protocols on their own.
It really is a true plug-and-play environment that network engineers now deal with. Many of these devices have point-to-point, high-speed wireless connections. I don’t see copper cables anymore. In scenarios where cabling is required, optical cables capable of handling zettabyte speeds are used instead.
Supporting these devices is both an easy and challenging task for the network engineer. On one hand, predictive analytics tools control all the networking devices within a particular cloud environment. These tools monitor devices 24/7. They gather data, analyze logs and perform basic to advanced troubleshooting. Only issues that require any further troubleshooting are sent to network engineers.
On the other hand, these tools generate long reports of what might have been missed during nonworking hours. Depending on the reports, engineers reprogram these tools to manage devices for which they don’t have scripts available. Network engineers no longer deal with individual devices anymore but instead heavily rely on resources to perform basic troubleshooting across an expansive network of connected things.
In short, the network engineers of the future will need to be more robust and tech-savvy. They must be able to adopt to the rapid changes to come in the IT networking domain.