Enterprises face multiple network failures

A study by Brocade reports that one third of global organisations face weekly network outages

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Enterprises face multiple network failures Sufian Dweik, regional director, MEMA at Brocade Communications says that Brocade is seeing an unprecedented rise in the amount of traffic that is being handled by the data centre.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  July 9, 2013

A third of global organisations experience multiple network failures each week, according to a study recently commissioned by Brocade.

The networking vendor's survey of over 1750 IT decision-makers (ITDMs) revealed that while enterprises are keen to adopt the latest technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing, they are being held back by current IT infrastructures that are ill-equipped for even present demands.

Ninety-one percent of respondents claimed that in their current state, their networks are not prepared for the challenges of virtualisation and the cloud. This is despite the fact that over three quarters of them are reported to have updated their IT environments in the last three years.

"We are seeing an unprecedented rise in the amount of traffic that is being handled by the data centre. Cloud-based applications, mobile access and on-demand computing are factors contributing to this growing strain. The inability of legacy data center networks to meet these growing demands is compromising business agility," said Sufian Dweik, regional director, MEMA at Brocade Communications.

Decision makers are recognising these challenges, as 18% of businesses surveyed have already deployed fabric-based technology to drive scalability while a further 51% plan to adopt ethernet fabrics in order to support virtualisation.

Downtime, according to the survey, is still a major concern and as high as 16% of respondents complain of daily network failure. For 41% of businesses, downtime has resulted in either direct or indirect negative financial impact.

"Network managers can no longer afford to simply incrementally scale their infrastructures. They need to look at innovative strategies such as Brocade's 'On-Demand Data Centre' that propose an entirely new approach to networking. We deliver flexible, scalable, high-performance open-standards based solutions which pave the way for SDN and the future needs of the network," said Yarob Sakhnini.

According to the report, on average, enterprises are upgrading their data centre networks every two years, but 24% wait more than three years before investing in new technology and

79% of ITDMs acknowledge that departments within their businesses have deployed cloud-based services, with 13% admitting that these actions would have happened with no guidance from IT.

Three-quarters of enterprises have on-premise data centres; 19% outsource SDN's benefits are perceived to be increased productivity (42%), better access to real-time information (40%), improved uptime/availability (38%) and increased service delivery (30%).

The average percentage of servers being virtualised today is 46%; by 2015, the goal is 59%.

Sixteen percent of enterprises experience daily network outages; database applications (41%), communication tools (30%) and Microsoft Office programs (25%) cause the most problems

Outages last on average 20 minutes, with two percent having to endure outages of more than an hour.

More than a third of workers stated that outages have caused SLAs to be missed, with customers not receiving goods/services; 41% added that this has caused customers to seek recompense.

A large number of respondents perceive Software-Defined Networking (SDN) to be the much needed answer to their networking woes. These organisations expressed intent to deploy SDN by 2015, citing increasing productivity, delivering better real-time access to information and improving availability/service delivery as their reasons behind doing so.

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