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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

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