It's so plaintive that it can be heartbreaking: "Why is the network so sloooooowwww?" plead users in just about every organization in North America. The inability of a network to keep up with the expectations and demands of its users seems, at times, to be the defining characteristic of networks.
"Everyone, at some point, complains that the network is too slow," Info-Tech Research analyst Carmi Levy says. "Very often, organizations think that they've outgrown their network, without considering that the real problem is that it's a bottleneck," that is causing the problem.
Indeed, network bottlenecks are so common that they're almost a fact of life. And because of the nature of the problem, many organizations simply fail to address the problem, choosing instead to simply throw money at upgrades and hope for the best. "It's not usually a big-bang problem," Levy says. "Organizations aren't experiencing massive bottlenecks that compromise their ability to do business.
But they are experiencing slowdowns that can often stimulate unnecessary spending, and that can affect the bottom line. "Instead of dealing with the problem, companies often just go out and buy new stuff. That's spending inefficiently because they're not doing a cause analysis."
And without taking a close look of the fundamental causes, the bottlenecks are unlikely to go away, no matter how much money you throw at them. The key to really solving the issue of course, is to know where to look and, although there is a staggering variety of them, some kinds of bottlenecks are both more common and more pressing than others.