One in three businesses have ‘multiple’ outages a week

Companies are failing to update their software, meaning that because of the strain being put on old data centres, they suffer debilitating network outages on a weekly basis.

That’s the verdict from Brocade, whose latest research found that one in three businesses suffer “multiple” network downtime instances per week. Further, more than nine in 10 (91%) of IT decision makers admit that they have to ‘substantially’ upgrade their infrastructure in order to keep up with the demand of cloud computing. Shockingly, 16% of those surveyed said they experienced daily outages.

On average these outages last around 20 minutes – according to the research 2% of those polled say they’ve encountered downtime of more than an hour.

And in terms of the consequences, more than one in three said that these outages meant their SLA wasn’t hit, which in some cases led to customers looking for reimbursement.

Companies upgrade their data centre every two years, with three quarters of companies polled having a data centre on premise; and the number of data centres being virtualised is going up, from 46% currently to a target of 59% by 2015. But this may not be enough.

Jason Nolet, VP data center switching and routing at Brocade, said in a statement: “Many data centres that exist today are based on 20 year old technologies, and the simple fact is that they can no longer keep up with demand. Virtualisation and cloud models require greater network agility and performance, as well as reduced operational cost and complexity.”

The consequence, as Brocade affirms in its report, is a trend towards software defined networking, whereby, as the name suggests, a layer of software is integrated between the metal network and the network administrator.

According to the research, respondents see productivity (42%), increased real-time information (40%) and, appropriately enough, improved availability (38%), as the key benefits of SDN.

A recent article from ZDNet argues that SDN is where cloud was a few years ago; companies are aware of it, and its potential benefits, but are keen to avoid any hype flying their way, and are reticent to move before they clearly see where it fits in the value chain.

But what’s your opinion? Where do you see SDN fitting in, and will it solve network uptime issues?

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