Mobility, IoT and SDN are making enterprise networks younger: Report

The Network Barometer Report by Dimension Data also says that the number of enterprises with at least one security vulnerability is the highest in five years.

DIMENSION DATA Nov 10th 2016 A-A+

Enterprises across the globe are refreshing their network equipment earlier in its lifecycle in a move to embrace workplace mobility, Internet of Things, and software-defined networking strategies, according to the annual Network Barometer Report by Dimension Data.

In addition, the report also says that the enterprise equipment refresh is more strategic, with architectural vision in mind. But despite the higher refresh rate, networks are getting less secure, largely due to neglected patching.

Brent Angus, General Manager – Networking, Dimension Data Asia Pacific, said, “Since 2010, networks had been ageing. This year’s report reverses that trend, and for the first time in five years, we’re seeing networks age more slowly. Ageing networks are not necessarily a bad thing: companies just need to understand the implications. They require a different support construct, with gradually increasing support costs. On the other hand, this also means that organisations can delay refresh costs.”

He also pointed out that ageing networks are unlikely to support initiatives such as software-defined networking and automation, or handle traffic volumes necessary for collaboration or cloud.

According to the report, in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Australia, enterprises’ network age reduced in line with the global average, while in the Americas, the number of ageing and obsolete devices decreased much faster, from 60 percent in the 2015 report to 29 percent in the 2016 report. This can be attributed to the release of pent-up spend following four years of financial constraint. Angus said clients in the Americas appear to be refreshing networks with the new generation of programmable infrastructure. In Asia-Pacific and Australia, equipment refresh occurred as part of data centre network redesigns.

In contrast to the global trend, in Middle East and Africa, the network age increased, possibly the result of economic uncertainty, particularly in South Africa.

Meanwhile, of the 97,000 network devices that Dimension Data discovered, the number of devices that have at least one known.

First published in 2009, the 2016 Network Barometer Report was compiled from data gathered from 300,000 service incidents logged for client networks that Dimension Data supports.