Money down the networking drainpipe

Gartner certainly knows how to stir up a storm. Having virtually trashed IT as an over-hyped waste of time and money, it now says companies are pouring money down the drain by taking Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop. For nearly a decade, network vendors have been trying to convince everyone that Gigabit is where it is at.

  • E-Mail
By  Colin Edwards Published  June 1, 2006

|~||~||~|Gartner certainly knows how to stir up a storm. Having virtually trashed IT as an over-hyped waste of time and money, it now says companies are pouring money down the drain by taking Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.

For nearly a decade, network vendors have been trying to convince everyone that Gigabit is where it is at. Now, with that message finally getting through and their efforts re-focused on making the move to 10Gig, along comes Gartner with its “hang-on-a-minute” message.

What Mark Fabbi, Gartner vice president, actually said at the company's Symposium/ITxpo, was that enterprise IT and network professionals will waste more than US$10 billion on Gigabit Ethernet gear over the next two years.

Companies would be better off spending their money on technologies to support increasingly distributed workforces, he said. Bigger and faster is not where network design needs to be going and even those companies using video conferencing and VoIP do not need more than few hundred kilobits per second bandwidth, he told delegates.

Network managers would be better off focusing on security, data control, application optimisation and mobility services.

These are more critical to the enterprise than desktop Gigabit.
But surely, we need Gigabit? What about all those data-heavy apps? Yes, of course you probably have a few users shunting 500Mb-plus files across the network. But according to Fabbi there are no typical business applications that need Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop, though specialised applications such as video production, GIS, scientific research and CAD, do need the extra bandwidth.

For the other 90%, it's total overkill and is likely to remain so when you consider that the trend is to have employees working remotely, from home, on the road and using Wi-Fi.

Fabbi blames network designers for continuing to be caught in traditional design practices - spending money on bigger and faster core networking technologies at their headquarters and large locations that don't actually serve their user population.

Rather than buying the next big infrastructure upgrade, Gartner recommends that network managers design networks that meet user requirements and allocate capital to technologies that will have the most impact on the business.

The annual BICSI networking conference and exhibition takes place in Dubai this month. It will be interesting to see if delegates think they've been wasting their money on Gigabit.
||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code