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IT Leaders Name Bandwidth Critical Issue

Driven by a "perfect storm" of technology trends that includes server virtualization, cloud computing, big data and the convergence of storage and data networks, over half (54 percent) of all IT departments are being asked to scale their networks to support speeds of 100Gbps by 2016. That is the finding of a new survey just completed by Emulex Corporation.
The survey of 1,529 IT leaders across North America and Europe focused on the issues, trends and challenges facing data center personnel and IT organizations, particularly as they relate to data center networks. The central theme emerging from the study is that IT departments, including CIOs and IT executives, are genuinely concerned about how to keep pace with the demand for increased throughput on data center networks:
  • 81 percent of survey participants said that the growing demand for network bandwidth is one of the most critical issues facing data centers today;
  • 76 percent believe that network I/O is the most critical potential bottleneck in the data center;
  • 70 percent said that improving I/O performance in the data center was a "high" or "very high" priority; and
  • More than half of respondents (52 percent) said that their need for network I/O increases by 60 percent or more annually.
Survey participants called out four key factors driving the unprecedented demand for network bandwidth in the data center:
  • Virtualization
    • 85 percent of respondents said network I/O was a "significant" or "very significant" gating factor in limiting how many virtual machines they could run on a single physical server.
    • 72 percent believe that it will be practical to run as many as 100 virtual servers on a single physical server in two years.
  • Cloud Computing
    • 53 percent of respondents indicated that the advent of the cloud had driven the need for additional network bandwidth within their corporate data centers;
    • 40 percent further said that the bandwidth expansion required to support migration to the cloud was 25 percent or more.
  • Big Data
    • Half of all respondents (54 percent) said that over the next two years, big data would increase their organization's need for network bandwidth in the data center by more than 50 percent.
    • 63 percent said that over the next two years big data applications will cause the amount of storage connected to data center networks to increase by at least 50 percent.
    • More than a third (37 percent) of participating IT organizations manage 1 petabyte or more of data, and 11 percent said they currently manage more than 100 petabytes.
  • Convergence
    • 45 percent of survey respondents said the convergence of data and storage networks has had a "very significant" or "extremely significant" impact on the need for increased I/O.
    • 78 percent said they believed it was inevitable that data and storage networks would converge into a single, consolidated network.
    • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of IT organizations have either already moved to a single, converged network for data and storage, or have plans to in the near future.

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