In late 2016, Microsoft began shipping Windows Server 2016 after revealing it at that year's Ignite conference. The product had been in the works for years, having first become available as a technical preview in 2014. While it seemed on the surface like just another iteration of the decades-old franchise, under the hood Windows Server 2016 represented a major shift in the design of the company's operating systems.
Software-defined networking has been one of the most hyped technologies of the 2010s to date. According to IT research firm Gartner, SDN hit the peak of its public popularity in 2013 and has since gone under the radar, although development of enterprise-grade solutions continues and it may transform SDN into a long-term fixture of business wide area networks.
Starting in the early 2000s, the term DevOps - a portmanteau of "development" and "operations" - became common lingo within many IT departments, software startup teams and vendor marketing materials. Numerous pieces of software and hardware have since been branded with the DevOps label, but in reality DevOps refers to a set of collaborative practices rather than a specific assortment of technical tools.
In the last 20 years, IT has been reshaped by numerous trends related to the improvement of the internet. Cloud computing, smartphones and the Internet of Things have all been enabled by ubiquitous IP network connectivity. Just between 2011 and 2016, the average home internet speed more than tripled, from 10 Mbps to 31 Mbps, according to the Federal Communications Commission.