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Organisations urged to upgrade networks for new technologies

Veronica C. Silva | July 2, 2012
Study notes too much focus on devices attaching to the network and less focus on the infrastructure itself.

A new study on current trends and capacity building of organisations reveal that some of today's network infrastructure may not be able to live up to user demand in the near future.

While it is true that most organisations are bracing for the increase in the number of devices connecting to the network, little effort is spent to make sure that the network can accommodate all these devices connecting, the study noted.

The recently released Network Barometer Report 2012 of Dimension Data also noted that organisations worldwide are investing in an uptake in user demand on the network by making sure that the access points are ready for connections. However, because of the lack of focus on network infrastructure build-up, some of these networks can become obsolete soon and this may impact adversely on the organisations' operations.

The study noted that 45 percent of networks assessed in 2011 will be totally obsolete within the next five years. This is because some network manufacturers have stopped production and support for some of their products to be able to support the latest technology trends such as virtualisation, collaboration, and mobility.

"There's often a disproportionate focus on endpoints such as laptops, tablets, smartphones or virtual machines. However, organisations cannot ignore the basic routing and switching equipment at the core of the network," said Brent Angus, manager, network integration, Dimension Data, Asia Pacific.

New technologies

Angus continued that their research has revealed organisations are "aggressively" upgrading their access points. A case in point would be upgrading to 802.11n capability, the latest standard in wi-fi that offers higher speeds. Dimension Data forecast that by next year, penetration of 802.11n access point will be greater than 50 percent.

"These findings support what Dimension Data have been saying for some time now - that clients must not "forget the network" as they consider deploying new communication services. Historically, clients planned and budgeted around a seven-year depreciation of their network. The new data demonstrates that almost half of clients' network estates will be last-day-of-support (LDoS) within five years," said Angus.

Dimension Data also warned that a network that is not up-to-date can hamper the competitiveness and efficiency of the organisation. End-users will then be frustrated and unproductive if the network cannot keep up with their demand.

"As organisations enable technologies such as mobility and desktop virtualisation at the edge of the network, the underlying network infrastructure needs to evolve in line with technology adoption.  Network managers need to plan and budget for upgrades at the core of the network to cope with the load," said Dimension Data.


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