Invest outside the Lan for net gains, advises Gartner

Most businesses follow outdated network design and procurement practices that lead to over-engineered, overpriced but under-performing networking infrastructures, this month’s Gartner Symposium in San Francisco was told.

Most businesses follow outdated network design and procurement practices that lead to over-engineered, overpriced but under-performing networking infrastructures, this month’s Gartner Symposium in San Francisco was told.

Companies have an increasing number of users in remote locations – in branch offices, on the road, or working from home – so large investments in local area networks are missing the mark, said Gartner vice-president Mark Fabbi.

Gartner said a lack of focus on user requirements could lead to businesses worldwide wasting more than £5.8bn procuring Gigabit Ethernet technology for the Lan by 2008. This figure does not include the added cost of gigabit-equipped phones, larger power supplies, upgraded facilities and other miscellaneous requirements.

“The majority of network designers continue to be caught in traditional design practices. Building and upgrading the network equates to something that is bigger and faster,” said Fabbi.

“They continue to spend money on bigger and faster core networking technologies at their headquarters and large locations that do not actually serve the user population.”

By designing networks that map to user requirements, rather than falling into the trap of buying the next new thing, businesses could make substantial savings, said Fabbi.

Gartner said network managers should shift 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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