Network upgrades ‘crucial for cloud success’
Dubai, July 10, 2013
Many organisations in the Middle East that have taken up cloud computing run the long term risk of failure as only small fractions of their IT budgets are spent on upgrading network infrastructure, said an industry expert.
“Unless there is a change in mindset and willingness to consider the long term implications, businesses are likely to see long term complications,” added Sufian Dweik, regional director, MEMA at Brocade Communications, a leading networking vendor.
Brocade today announced the results of its global survey of 1,750 IT decision makers which evaluated the current state of their data center environments. An overwhelmingly large number of respondents (91 per cent) have revealed that they do not believe that their current IT infrastructures are equipped to meet the demands of cloud computing and virtualization.
This global trend is especially worrying for businesses in the Middle East wherein cloud related IT investments are expected to increase substantially in the next few years.
According to a recent IDC report, emerging markets, which include the Mena region, will witness the fastest growth in cloud spending anywhere in the world, collectively growing at 44.1 per cent until 2016. The UAE cloud market alone is set for a compound annual growth rate of 43.7 per cent until 2016, it said.
This means that the share of cloud spending by emerging markets almost double from 13 per cent in 2011 to 24.9 per cent in 2016, which will account for almost 30 per cent of net-new public IT cloud services spending growth, the IDC said.
Dweik’s concerns are confirmed by the report which states that a third of businesses experience multiple network failures each week, with as high as 16 per cent complaining of daily network outages.
These are caused largely due to database applications (41 per cent), communication tools (30 per cent) and Microsoft Office programs (25 per cent) as new services such as video conferencing and application delivery to remote devices add to the strain on already unfit networks.
Tied in to the concerns of loss of productivity due to downtime, over half of the survey's respondents reported that network failure has either directly or indirectly resulted in financial impact.
Dweik said that Middle East enterprises need to invest in purpose-built data centers that offer high flexibility to meet with varying pressures.
“In slow periods such as in the summer months and during Ramadan, business in the region slows down and the amount of data being handled by the network decreases,” Dweik continued.
“Correspondingly, in peak times, traffic volumes can peak and cause networks to fail. Brocade understands this elasticity which is why we are promoting our On-Demand Data Center strategy. This helps combine the best of physical and virtual networking elements to create a data center environment that helps organization rapidly react to market changes and deploy new services and applications in the most efficient manner possible.
“We have based our technologies on open standards, thus paving the way for incorporation of new technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) into these networks,” he added.
Brocade's focus in the Middle East has been primarily on growing its data center business wherein it has the advantage of being one of only two companies globally with technologies across all four areas - application networking, virtualization, infrastructure and storage.
Key to growth of the company's market share will be the uptake of fabric-based technologies. 18 per cent of survey respondents already use fabric-based networks, and 51 per cent planning to roll out Ethernet fabrics in the next year in order to support virtualization plans.
More than a third of workers stated that outages have caused SLAs to be missed, with customers not receiving goods/services; 41 per cent added that this has caused customers to seek recompense. – TradeArabia News Service