Firms waste billions of pounds on core networks

Most businesses continue to implement outdated network design and procurement practices, leading to over-engineered, overpriced but under-performing networking infrastructures, says analyst Gartner.

Most businesses continue to implement outdated network design and procurement practices, leading to over-engineered, overpriced but under-performing networking infrastructures, says analyst Gartner.

At this week’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in the US, Gartner analysts said that a lack of focus on user requirements will lead to businesses, for instance, wasting more than $10bn (£5.8bn) procuring Gigabit Ethernet technology for the local area network (Lan) by 2008.

This figure doesn't include the added cost of Gigabit-equipped phones, larger power supplies, upgraded facilities and other miscellaneous requirements, said analysts

“The majority of network designers continue to be caught in traditional design practices, building and upgrading the network equates to something that's bigger and faster,” said Mark Fabbi, a Gartner analyst.

“They continue to spend money on bigger and faster core networking technologies at their headquarters and large locations, that don't actually serve the user population,” he said.

Fabbi said that most businesses have an increasing number of users in remote locations – either in branch offices or working on the road and at home – so high investments in LAN’s may no longer be appropriate.

By designing networks that map to actual user requirements, rather than falling into the trap of buying the next new thing, businesses could make substantial savings that could be redeployed in areas where they actually make a difference, said Fabbi.

Gartner said network managers must start shifting their focus to technologies that bring new capabilities to the infrastructure, and that provide services to a distributed workforce.

Fabbi said, “Astute network managers will focus their attention on the upper layers of the network stack, and look to security, data control, application optimisation and mobility services as key features that will benefit the organisation, far more than installing gigabit Ethernet for all desktops.”

 

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