For the various data center trends, the company found that most IT professionals understood the benefits cloud computing, BYOD, unified communications (UC) and faster bandwidth will bring to their companies, but also worried about managing and securing the company’s data. For many businesses, UC is quickly moving beyond voice over IP (VOIP) and into new areas, including videoconferencing, Web-based collaboration and messaging. VOIP deployments are staying around 70 percent, but 62 percent of respondents said they have deployed videoconferencing, and more than 60 percent have deployed instant messaging. Adoption of videoconferencing and instant messaging both grew more than 35 percent over the last four years, and more than half of organizations this year have deployed Web collaboration applications, such as Cisco Systems’ WebEx. “Traditionally, UC was very focused on the voice aspect,” Charles Thompson, director of product strategy at Network Instruments, said in an interview with eWEEK. “We’re really seeing people adopting more than just voice.” That’s bringing with it some monitoring problems, Thompson said. More than two-thirds of the respondents said their biggest challenge is gaining visibility into the user experience, and UC tools won’t be utilized to their full potential if users are reluctant to use them because of latency or jitter problems with the video, for example, he said. Respondents also said they were concerned about the difficulties assessing bandwidth used by UC programs and the inability to view communications at the edge of the network.
The adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernetin the data center is rising rapidly, with 77 percent of respondents saying they will use the technology within the next 12 months, a growth of 52 percent over the last four years. Twenty percent said they will migrate to 40GbE within the next year.
Businesses are anxious to get to 40GbE to help ease bandwidth issues caused by such trends as UC, BYOD and cloud, Network Instruments’ Reinboldt said. “There’s just too much data,” he said. “There’s so much pushing through the pipe … they can’t wait anymore.” With applications and networks growing in complexity, resolving problems increasingly becomes an issue. The biggest concern in this area was the inability to identify the source of the problem, according to 70 percent of respondents. Another third said they were still having trouble with bandwidth, according to the survey.