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More agile infrastructure needed for next-gen apps and services

A Vanson Bourne study of 400 IT decision makers (ITDM) in the US and UK reveals that 92 percent feel that their infrastructure is not agile enough to deliver robust and scalable services to stakeholders or support next-generation applications. The survey commissioned by Brocade indicates that enterprises are being restricted by legacy network resources, putting them in the position of having to decommission some of their older systems and also raising questions about whether existing data center architectures will carry them forward into the future.
 
To further highlight the challenge facing these organizations, more than a quarter of respondents admitted to having to take remedial action on network outages several times a week, if not daily, while almost a fifth of respondents candidly stated that their network was not fit for purpose, suggesting that the legacy network is in need of change.


 
"Over the last ten years, the way we interact with data has evolved beyond anyone's expectation. Billions of connected devices are overloading global networks with requests every second, and users demand always-on, instantaneous access to applications and services. Virtualization and cloud models are scaling at pace but require greater network agility and performance, as well as reduced operational cost and complexity. All of these factors are placing pressure on an infrastructure that, frankly, was never designed to deal with such demands. While the problem itself is not new, the scale to which it is impacting businesses means that enterprises must address it immediately or face the real danger of becoming obsolete to their customers," said Jason Nolet, Vice President Data Center Switching and Routing at Brocade.


 
Acknowledging that their current networks cannot scale to meet short- to mid-term business needs, more than half of senior ITDMs are either actively evaluating Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies or plan to do so in the next 12 months.
 
Users believe that a software-based approach will deliver improved uptime and availability, better access to real-time information and increased productivity, so they are looking to re-engineer their environments to help them on the journey to SDN. As such, 65 percent of respondents are actively using (or evaluating in the next year) Ethernet fabric architectures in a bid to manage their current cost, complexity and reliability challenges while building the robust physical infrastructure needed for SDN.
 
Other key findings from the research included:

  • 75 percent of respondents would welcome the use of an "on-demand" data center model (a purpose-built network infrastructure for highly virtualized and cloud computing environments)
  • Complexity (20 percent), cost (19 percent) and performance (14 percent) are the biggest data center challenges facing senior ITDMs
  • 17 percent of enterprises have no plans to evaluate SDN, and 16 percent feel the same towards fabric-based architectures
  • On average, 49 percent of servers are currently virtualized with this rising to an average of 64 percent in two years
  • It currently takes an average of four days to provision a new device or application, and five days to provision a new service
  • 35 percent of departments have looked to deploy cloud-based services in order to enhance their IT experience, but have done so without engaging the company's IT organization

 
Vanson Bourne believes the findings no doubt are a shot across the bow to market leader Cisco, which Brocade hopes to overtake as SDN becomes more popular. 

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