The most important factors impacting wide-area networks are improving application performance and providing better support to real-time applications.
The new survey conducted by Ashton, Metzler and Associates revealed that 42 percent of IT professionals say improving application performance was one of the most important factors impacting the WAN in the next year, while 32.4 percent said providing better support to real-time applications; however, about two-thirds of IT organizations currently don't prioritize applications or only do so in a static manner. Public cloud applications and services are contributing the most to increasing Internet traffic, followed by support for mobile users.
More than 50 percent of IT organizations use the Internet to carry between 1 percent and 40 percent of their traffic, according to the survey. The use of the Internet will grow more than the use of MPLS, and the use of each of these services will grow significantly more than the use of other WAN services, such as ATM or Frame Relay. The two primary concerns IT organizations have with the use of MPLS are cost and uptime and the two primary concerns IT organizations have with the use of the Internet are security and uptime.
The survey results also found that on average, there are 14 WAN-related incidents a year that negatively impact one or more of a company’s business-critical applications. The majority of respondents said this results in their CIO getting pressure from their boss or related business unit manager, as well as tarnished reputation of the IT organization and revenue loss. Additionally, 86.5 percent of respondents said their WAN negatively impacts business-critical applications either occasionally or frequently.
"There's no doubt that the WAN plays an increasingly important role to a company's ability to function as business-critical, real-time applications such as voice and video, public cloud apps and services and the use of mobile devices in the workplace continue to grow," Talari President and CEO Emerick Woods said. "This data points to a strong disconnect and the need for IT organizations to better align their activities with the goals of the company's business unit managers. While often difficult to fulfill those requirements, the ramifications of degraded network performance can bring a company to a complete halt, resulting in lost revenue and customers."