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Growing Bandwidth Demands Weigh Heavy on Network Admins

If you manage networks, the fifth annual State of the Network Global Study, released today by Network Instruments will likely verify what you already know: bandwidth demands are rising -- and rising quickly. One-third of the 163 network professionals (located around the world) questioned say bandwidth consumption will grow by more than half within the next two years.

The results of the study showed several drivers for such growth  For example, video conferencing has been implemented at 55 percent of enterprises surveyed, and that number is expected to grow to 70 percent next year. (Respondents cite inadequate user knowledge and training as their biggest concern about video, which includes video conferencing set up in rooms or on PC desktops.) Such growth makes a big dent in network performance, and it may get worse -- a quarter of respondents say video will consume half of available bandwidth within 12 months.

Cloud computing is also putting a strain on networks; only 60 percent of those surveyed are implementing the technology -- a figure that has remained the same since last year’s survey. What’s keeping the adoption rate steady? Participants blame concerns about corporate data security as their primary concern (74 percent), followed by the inability to monitor the end-user experience (at just 37 percent of respondents).

Although the percent of enterprises embracing cloud has remained constant, Network Instruments found that the number of implementations per organization is growing, especially software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service, and private clouds (which grew 10 percent over the last 12 months). On average, the study says, “respondents expected one-third of their applications to be running in the cloud within 12 months.”

When it comes to managing performance and bandwidth, 83 percent said their biggest app troubleshooting difficulty is identifying the source of the problem (coming in second -- at 36 percent -- handling user complaints and errors). That could explain why 41 percent said that “network and application delay issues took more than an hour to resolve.”

Network Instruments includes this warning: [The] survey results again show that technological innovations such as virtualization, 10 Gb, and cloud continue to oupace the ability of those responsible to fully monitor and manage the capabilities. Unless addressed, this will likely cause delayed or extended rollouts and increased costs. More troubling, it may result in reduced overall service quality and degraded end-user experience, either of which can have material implications for the acceptance and ultimate success of these promising technologies.

An executive summary of the report is available at here.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 03/13/2012 at 11:53 AM