Most IT directors are still worried about the quality of voice over IP services, as the trend towards converging voice and data traffic onto a single data network gathers pace, a survey of 300 large European enterprises has revealed.
VoIP is predicted to account for 75% of the world's voice traffic by the end of 2007, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. However, research by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Compuware found that 73% of IT leaders had doubts about the reliability of internet telephony.
Of the companies surveyed, 50% had class of service (CoS) enabled wide area networks featuring MPLS, IP virtual private networks or meshed technology. CoS networks are able to differentiate high-priority and low-priority data packets, which can improve the quality of VoIP.
The other companies surveyed had traditional Frame Relay or leased line Wans. Of these, 47% planned to migrate to a CoS-enabled Wan over the next two years.
Despite this trend towards running an IP network, the research found that 33% of companies were not preparing fully for the impact on the network of introducing applications such as VoIP.
In addition, 72% of the IT directors surveyed used basic measures such as monitoring overall network utilisation to check that applications were working, rather than examining the individual performance of each application.
Michael Allen, global director of performance solutions at Compuware, said, "It is like driving a new car before the manufacturer has checked that all the components are fitted together properly and the safety checks are completed.
"Businesses must profile performance prior to deployment or they have no way of knowing whether there will be negative side effects due to factors such as network design or application conflicts."
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