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Hosted services are fast gaining traction in the region, especially ones connected to bandwidth management. Sean Robson investigates what vendors offer enterprises.

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By  Sean Robson Published  October 18, 2008

Hosted services are fast gaining traction in the region, especially ones connected to bandwidth management. Sean Robson investigates what vendors offer enterprises.

Bandwidth is a hot topic in the Middle East and its only getting hotter as enterprises scrap for every available bit in an often prohibitively expensive market.

The amount of effort and expertise required when it comes to managing bandwidth has seen the advent of hosted services, but there remains confusion on what exactly bandwidth management entails for enterprises.

There is no doubt in my mind that, while the market for bandwith management is nascent at the moment, it will take off in a big way over the next 12 to 18 months.

"Bandwidth management refers to the process of optimising the bandwidth that carries traffic over networks. Network managers control communications by allowing high-priority traffic to utilise more bandwidth than something given a lower priority status. Business-critical applications, including e-commerce transactions, are dependent upon successful bandwidth management. Bandwidth management, and by extension, hosted services are both economical and practical," explains Farid Faraidooni, executive vice president commercial at UAE telecom provider, Du.

"It is an expanding market, corporate companies and government institutions have traditionally kept their operations in-house. However, we are seeing more requirements for not just managed network services but generically managed infrastructure services.

It is in part a result of the challenges associated with the shortage of skilled staff locally," says Jinna Bains, country manager of BT Middle East.

"There is no doubt in my mind that while the market for this service is nascent at the moment, it will take off in a big way over the next 12 to 18 months. An important area to look at when talking about the potential of this space is the drivers behind it. First, there is the global nature of Middle Eastern businesses, which require bandwidth on a constant basis. The second key driver is the applications that enterprises are looking at to power their organisational productivity, which in turn drives the need for increased bandwidth," notes Guru Prasad, general manager for networking at FVC.

Faraidooni agrees, pointing to the rise in applications that enterprises are having to implement across their networks.

"Apart from the sheer number of new users being added to networks on an almost daily basis, there is the emergence of all sorts of applications ranging from e-commerce applications through to streaming media applications, and peer-to-peer websites," Faraidooni says.

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