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Survey: XML Traffic Poses Long-Term Network Problems

XML data has started to clog enterprise network traffic and bog down processors due to the increasing quantity and size of XML messages, according to a just-released report from the IT market intelligence firm ZapThink.

The report, "High Performance and Appliance Approaches for XML," estimates that XML traffic on corporate networks will grow from approximately 15 percent in 2004 to just under 48 percent by 2008, and that Web services traffic will dominate XML traffic on the network by end of 2005.

In order to solve the problems, the report goes on to say, enterprises need to deploy XML-specific solutions, including XML appliances, specialized chip-based solutions, and optimized software approaches that can allow XML-related functionality without network degradation.

The report says that the XML optimization market is becoming a very big business, and will reach $1.2 billion by 2010. It also warns that the increasing prevalence of very large messages on networks threatens the long-term viability of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) implementations.

"Network traffic increases due to the increasing quantity and size of messages, both XML and non-XML based, will tax existing corporate IT infrastructure to its limit," Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst with ZapThink, LLC, said in a statement. "Network administrators find they must devote general-purpose application servers, network equipment, and messaging infrastructure to simple message parsing, handling, and routing functions, while precious few resources remain for executing core business logic. Only optimized approaches to handling XML-whether they be hardware, software, or a combination of both-will alleviate the problems companies face as the application of XML explodes across their organizations."