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Network-performance issues eat up tech time

IT professionals spend one month of the year determining the cause of network issues, and performance problems appear to be rising, according to research
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

IT teams are dedicating increasing amounts of time on getting to the bottom of network-performance issues.

According to network-monitoring company Network Instruments's research, three-quarters of network professionals cite 'identifying the source of a problem' as their primary troubleshooting concern — up a quarter on last year.

The research also found performance problems are rising, with more than two-thirds of respondents spending between 25 and 50 days per year determining the cause of network issues. Almost half spend more than 50 days annually doing this.

Three-quarters of respondents named security and compliance as their major network headache, while almost a third of respondents cited the lack of troubleshooting information as their biggest concern. Other common bugbears include bandwidth consumption, application latency, sporadic performance errors and ensuring application delivery.

Ian Cummins, vice president of EMEA for Network Instruments, said these problems will continue to grow as companies implement new technologies and applications on their networks, and said without the "necessary visibility" into these applications, performance will continue to suffer.

Meanwhile the rate of VoIP implementations has increased five percent on last year, with 66 percent of organisations having implemented or looking to implement VoIP in the next 12 months. Network professionals' biggest VoIP concerns are quality of service and the impact it has on other apps.

The survey also found confidence in VoIP networks is growing. In 2007, just 13 percent said they were completely confident in their system, compared to a quarter in 2008.

Globally, migration to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) data networks appears to be steady, the survey found, with most organisations still in the early stages of adoption. More than a third of respondents said they will have migrated to MPLS networks in the next year, while just over half have no intention of migrating.

Less than a third of organisations said they plan to implement 10GB networks in the next 12 months.

The survey was completed by 592 network engineers, IT directors and chief information officers in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

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