Application Changes Drive Need for Network Upgrades

An influx of new applications slows down enterprise networks

The signs sometimes are subtle but increasing. The time needed to complete a transaction takes a bit longer, the number of user complaints rises, and web site performance diminishes. The corporate network, which has hummed along without incident for years, suddenly needs a tune up.

What is driving the change? The nature of business applications today is evolving. New solutions are being deployed on a continuous basis. In addition, they are built on different foundations than in the past. They are more network and less server centric, so the end result is corporate networks require more bandwidth. Here are several increasingly popular applications that are pushing organizations toward network upgrades.

Public Cloud

This design approach has become very popular. Revenue spent on these systems has been increasing at a rapid clip with no signs of a slowdown. In fact, worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $210 billion in 2019, an increase of 23.8% over 2018, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Here are a few reasons for public cloud’s popularity. These systems are simple to deploy. They are based on a modern architecture, so making a change requires a few clicks rather than several steps. These solutions include high levels of automation, so they are easy to manage. Because of these benefits, vendors need less staff resources to manage them and pass the savings along to customers.

While beneficial, these applications generate more network traffic. With premises data centers, transmissions stayed on site and moved mainly from servers to storage systems. With public cloud, they shift and go out to the provider’s data center via the enterprise network.

Collaboration

Living in the information age, companies communicate more often. Employees exchange information with one another to improve product design and streamline business processes. Customer service has become a cornerstone in organizations. Enterprises reach out to customers with surveys and social media tools, like favorites, to gauge how well they are performing.

Business is complex, and no company can do it all. So, companies work with partners, another area that spurs the sharing of information via enterprise networks.

As a result, data volumes are increasing dramatically. In 2018, corporations generated 33 zettabytes of data and that amount will increase to 175ZB by 2025, a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 61%, according to IDC. To put the number in perspective, 1 zettabyte is 1 trillion Gigabytes. As more information is exchanged, network usage rises.

Remote Workers

With the advent of ubiquitous powerful broadband connections, employees gain more work options. Many operate from their homes, some for large chunks of the week; others for a few moments each week or every month.

The need to supply them with adequate response time puts a huge strain on the network. With employees working remotely and transmitting large files, networks bog down and problems arise. Many business applications are very sensitive to latency and jitter. Corporations want to be sure that employees have responsive systems, so work gets done rather than just staring at an unresponsive computer screen.

Video

Video is another big driver in business today and accounts for more of the traffic flowing over the Internet. Many factors are prompting its growth.

Mobile devices are powerful and support rich media. Employees have top quality video cameras on their phones. The rise of video social media sites has taught them how to use this media, so they extend such exchanges to the workplace.

Video is effective. A picture is worth a million words, so companies use rich forms of collaboration to improve business processes. Sending a consumer a picture or a “How To” video improves customer service. Seeing the process that needs to take place is simpler than having agent talk them through it.

Video is replacing voice connections. Applications, like Skype and Webex, include video conferencing options, which enable individuals to collaborate more effectively.

Video streaming has become more popular. An HD video stream uses 1G bps to sever G bps per hour. If a few are sent, then network bottlenecks quickly arise.

Video is a complex, high bandwidth application. As its use spreads strain on the network grows. Givens its many benefits, its usage is not expected to slow down anytime soon. In fact, new higher quality, higher bandwidth options, like 4K, are emerging, and they will add more data to enterprise networks.

Automatic Updates

In most cases today, vendors download application and system updates to end devices automatically. The benefit is that all users work with current software. In the past, IT staff often had to manually update such systems, so delays occurred.

But the change strains the company network. Updates come more frequently. Amazon Web Services refreshes its software every 15 seconds. The amount of software transmitted has grown larger. Microsoft recommends that users have at least 32G bytes of disk storage to run its Windows 10 operating system.

More interactions occur. With cloud systems, a change is typically written in two places: the user’s device and the cloud. In addition, cloud applications back up their data throughout the day, so again more and more information flows over the company network.

BYOD

The reality is employees bring their personal mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) to work. In many cases, they have unlimited data plans, so they click and download lots of rich data. These devices are often set to run over a local Wi-Fi connection rather than a Wide Area Network. That feature means that they jump on to the enterprise network and drive up bandwidth usage.

The nature of modern applications has been changing. The use of new cloud, video, and mobile services means that more information flows over your corporate network. To keep employees working effectively, the time has come to upgrade your network.

Looking for help to try and determine what impact a network upgrade would have on your business? Imagit Solutions is a leading IT services company whose expansive engineering team has vast experience in this area. They deliver recommendations that help your organization operate more effectively. Interested in learning more about working with Imagit? Contact us today!