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Technological 'perfect storm' drives network bandwidth demands

There is a unique convergence of technologies occurring in today's business world. This "perfect storm" includes the adoption of server virtualization, cloud services and big data processes, requiring IT departments to scale their networks to support next-generation demands.

This trend was highlighted in a new study by Emulex Corporation, which polled more than 1,500 IT decision-makers across North America and Europe and found that more than half of respondents feel they need to enhance their networks to support speeds of 100Gbps by 2016. Another 81 percent of respondents said this and other new bandwidth requirements are among the most essential issues that data centers are facing in today's culture.

The advent of the cloud is having a significant impact on these needs, as approximately 53 percent of respondent said the technology has driven the demand for additional network bandwidth, the study noted. Another 40 percent of IT decision-makers said their migration to cloud computing required an expansion of their bandwidth by 25 percent or more.

Other trends impacting bandwidth requirements
Virtualization technologies are also impacting the demand for extended bandwidth. The study revealed that approximately 85 percent of respondents said network input/output has a significant impact on how many virtual machines an organization can run within a single server. At the same time, nearly three-quarters of IT executives think it will be reasonable to run as many as 100 VMs on a single server within the next two years.

The big data phenomenon is also changing how decision-makers feel about their network performance requirements. In fact, 54 percent of survey respondents said they believe big data will require their organization to increase their bandwidth by at least 50 percent during the next two years, Emulex revealed.

A separate study by Informatica found that nearly 70 percent of businesses are either considering, planning, testing or running big data projects.

"The fact that data center networks need to keep getting faster isn't news to anyone but what is amazing is the rate at which the demand for bandwidth is increasing," said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at Emulex. "Today, 40 percent have already deployed 10Gb Ethernet, and in another four years, the majority of those networks will be operating at 100GbE. It's truly unprecedented."

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