Cloud, Bandwidth Demands Pose Challenges for IT Staff
IT teams will face significant monitoring challenges from multiple forms of cloud computing, as well as substantially increased bandwidth demands, Network Instruments reported in its "Fifth Annual State of the Network Global Study."
The research showed that 60 percent of those polled anticipate that half their apps will run in the cloud within 12 months, and 70 percent will implement video conferencing within a year. A quarter of the respondents expect video will consume half of all bandwidth in 12 months. Bandwidth issues remain a concern, with 33 percent expecting bandwidth consumption to increase by more than 50 percent in next two years.
While IT teams embrace cloud services and video conferencing as a way to increase cost savings and business flexibility, these technologies introduce new components and environments which make ensuring positive end-user experience all the more challenging, said Brad Reinboldt, senior product manager of Network Instruments, a specialist in network and application performance monitoring. The reported lack of monitoring tools, quality metrics and visibility creates serious obstacles that prevent IT from effectively managing performance and jeopardizes costly technology investments.
While the number of organizations embracing cloud (60 percent) remains steady compared with last years study results, the number of implementations per organization is growing. Most notable were software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and private cloud deploymentswhich grew by 10 percent over the last year. On average, respondents expected one-third of their applications to be running in the cloud within 12 months.
Seventy-four percent of respondents indicated their chief concern about cloud migration was ensuring corporate data security. The number is nearly double that of last year, and that may be the primary reason for slowing cloud adoption by new organizations, Reinboldt said. Other top concerns included lack of accurate end-user experience with monitoring and the bandwidth impact of cloud services. Although challenging from a monitoring and visibility perspective, one-third of organizations indicated application availability increased as a result of cloud migration.
The survey also suggested that enterprise video conferencing is now mainstream. Video conferencing has been implemented by 55 percent of survey respondents, with an expected 70 percent within a year. Nearly two-thirds of these organizations have implemented multiple deployments throughout their organization. These include standard conference rooms (75 percent), desktop PCs (63 percent) and telepresence systems (30 percent).
While video is clearly being embraced, several cited challenges that could hinder wider adoption. Inadequate user knowledge and training was viewed as the largest concern in ensuring a positive video conference experience (53 percent). This was followed by difficulties allocating and monitoring bandwidth (47 percent) and a lack of tools to manage video performance (47 percent).
Further compounding these issues are the lack of standardized metrics to monitor video quality. Network professionals typically relied on a mix of metrics to assess quality, including latency (76 percent), packet loss (69 percent) and jitter (60 percent). Less than one in five use Video MOS, a metric specifically designed to determine video quality.
By the beginning of 2013, nearly one-quarter of respondents expect video to consume more than half their bandwidth. The survey suggested that as applications become more complex and tiered, the ability to resolve service delivery issues grows. Eighty-three percent of respondents said the largest application troubleshooting challenge was identifying the problem source. Additionally, more than two-thirds of respondents predicted network traffic demands would increase by 25 percent to 50 percent within two years.