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Your Network Could Be Obsolete within 5 Years

Dimension Data's Network Barometer Report 2012 looks at how prepared enterprise networks are to support ongoing operations given current tech trends. The results, released yesterday, aren’t pretty.

The report says that several trends -- such as bring your own device (BYOD), video, and virtualization -- are “rapidly consuming network capacity and capabilities, and that 45 percent of the enterprise networks assessed during 2011 will be obsolete within five years.” That’s 38 percent “worse” than the survey’s 2010 results.

The survey is based on almost 300 technology life-cycle management (TLM) assessments the company performed at enterprise organizations worldwide last year.

The speed of technology advances is accelerating. Here’s just one sign: of the organizations “considering desktop virtualization and pervasive video” most had better “refresh their routing and switching infrastructure” because only one-fifth (18 percent) of the access switches examined could properly support the move.

Another problem: existing equipment is not without security problems. “Two-thirds of all devices assessed in 2011 had at least one known security vulnerability,” the report points out. Three out of the 10 vulnerabilities found were rated as “high severity,” and one of the 10 was rated as “critical.”

“The introduction of new technologies into the enterprise environment has accelerated to the point where many corporate networks predate current megatrends such as mobility, virtualization, BYOD, and pervasive video,” warned Grant Sainsbury, vice president of advanced solutions at Dimension Data.

Dimension Data expects that 802.11n access-point penetration will exceed 50 percent next year, so the company advises organizations to “carefully consider the underlying network infrastructure responsible for the distribution and delivery of their communication services.”

Aging equipment is also problematic. “The total number of devices that were past end-of-sale jumped from 38 percent to 45 percent, highlighting the fact that organizations must not forget the network as they consider deploying new communication services.”

The full report is available here; no registration is required.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 06/26/2012

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