Cloud Services, BYOD Complicating Network Monitoring, Survey Shows

A global poll of IT professionals shows how newer technologies are making it harder to keep tabs on the network.

Serdar Yegulalp

July 23, 2013

3 Min Read
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Companies are adopting cloud services, BYOD and videoconferencing at a rapid clip, but while these newer technologies bring business benefits, they also make network monitoring more difficult.

A survey released Tuesday by network monitoring company Network Instruments provides insight into the increasingly complicated job of managing a network.

For the study, Network Instruments polled some 170 network professionals worldwide--network engineers, IT directors and CIOs--and asked them questions about their use of cloud computing, unified communications, and challenges with application and network performance management.

The survey showed that public and private cloud adoption are both on the way up, with those polled organizations expecting nearly half of their applications to be running in the cloud. At the same time, though, they're worried about the security of cloud-hosted data--and about how tough it is to assess the use of network resources in the cloud. Eighty percent of those surveyed cited the security of corporate data, and 35% cited assessing the cloud’s impact on bandwidth demand as threats to cloud deployment.

Cloud deployment threats

Assessing network usage in the cloud is key given how most cloud providers charge for data throughput--and not just to and from the rest of the Internet, but often to and from other data resources within the cloud itself (for example, databases ).

While 33% of survey respondents cited cloud computing as a top monitoring challenge for their organization, more than half of the respondents believe BYOD technology is the single most difficult technology to monitor properly. Much of this may be due to the disorganized state of BYOD network management--not just on the enterprise side, but on the device makers’ side.

The survey also showed that 62% of the respondents had deployed a videoconferencing solution of some kind, with about 70% having deployed VoIP. But with many of those insights came an understanding of the complexities involved in having such things in the first place. Survey respondents cited difficulties assessing bandwidth utilization by UC programs (39%) and an inability to view communications at the network edge (29%). According to the survey, validating quality of service and managing bandwidth were top challenges posed by video.

[Read how video traffic is rapidly changing in "Video Evolution: Brace Yourself For Impact."].

The study also showed that 10-Gbit and 40-Gbit networks are on the rise, with 77% of those polled claiming they will be using 10-Gbit networking within a year’s time span, and 20% moving to 40 Gbits in the same time frame.

When asked about their top application troubleshooting challenge, 68% of survey participants cited the ability to determine the root cause of performance problems. Forty-six percent cited issues with measuring latency and delay issues.

Interestingly, software-defined networking wasn’t mentioned in the Network Instruments report. This isn’t hugely surprising, given how SDN technology is still slow on the uptake in many sectors. But among SDN’s many promises is streamlining network management, so IT teams may get some relief down the road.

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