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Is IT Prepared for Video-Conference Bandwidth Surge?

A year from now, 40 percent of your network traffic will likely be taken up by video conferencing according to more than half of the 104 network engineers, IT managers, and executives at Interop surveyed by Network Instruments. Currently such traffic makes up just 29 percent of bandwidth use.

Unfortunately, IT isn’t prepared for this 38 percent rise in traffic. The same group says they’re only reserving 10 percent of network capacity for video -- and 83 percent have deployed some kind of video conferencing already

That’s just one of the problems. Network Instruments said it found that roughly two-thirds of respondents have multiple video deployments in their enterprise, “including desktop video (83 percent), standard video conferencing (40 percent), and videophones (17 percent).”

Uh, oh.

What’s hot in video conferencing? According to the survey, those using the technology say they’ve implemented a solution by Microsoft (44 percent), Cisco (36 percent), or Polycom (35 percent).

Metrics for measuring video-conference quality is a mixed bag: “latency (36 percent), packet loss (32 percent), and jitter (20 percent)” are the most popular measures; 8 percent use Video MOS. The lack of consistency among respondents is to be expected given that 38 percent say there’s a lack of monitoring tools and metrics available.

“The significant increase in the use of video and corresponding rise in bandwidth consumption will hit networks like a tidal wave,” a Network Instruments product marketing manager said in a prepared statement. “The rise in video has the potential to squeeze out other critical network traffic and degrade video quality due to the lack of network capacity. Without clear monitoring metrics and tools, it will be extremely difficult for IT to assess and ensure quality user experience.”

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 05/10/2012 at 11:53 AM

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Tue, May 22, 2012 John Canberra Australia

One has to wonder why it is necessary to actually see the other person. Yes – there are situations where seeing the other person is important, however most communications doesn’t require this. Consequently the rise in video-conferencing, even as a replacement for “being there” (now getting more expensive due to the increasing costs of travelling), is difficult to justify. More likely, it is the “jumping on the bandwagon” that generally occurs when new technologies arrive (no real justification – just a childish “me too” attitude). #### Taking the next logical step from the uptake of video-conferencing, has anybody considered the possibility that said video-conferences will have to be recorded and stored is something like the way all corporate emails are currently recorded? Should make a lot of money for the “storage” industry. The IT industry persuades us we “must have” these new toys and the rest of us give them all of our money.

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