The bandwidth needs of the enterprise have grown exponentially over the past few years, and that growth isn’t showing any signs of stopping. Cloud services, mobile access and increased video needs will place even greater demands on the enterprise’s bandwidth. Gartner group offers a look at just how much those demands will increase between now and 2017, and offers four ideas about how the enterprise can adapt its networks to meet the growing demands for more and more capacity.
Here are the immediate challenges that the enterprise is going to face, according to the conclusions of a recent Gartner report:
Greater cloud demands. Users with desktop and mobile devices are going to demand an increasing amount of bandwidth usage. Uplink capacity, which has traditionally been much lower than downlink capacity, will need to be ramped up to meet this greater demand. This will depend, to some degree, on the particular needs of the enterprise’s applications.More devices. In addition to accessing cloud resources, the number and kind of personal machines, devices and other things that will connect to enterprise networks is going to increase, adding to the overall background traffic in the enterprise – even during idle periods.More and more video. Video use – for both personal and professional reasons – has been rapidly increasing over the past few years. The increase will continue, but at a more modest rate than in the past. HD video via WAN will increase bandwidth needs.
There are also some recommendations in the report that enterprises can use to be prepared for the next three years:
Talk about the growth of network use and bandwidth with your users and your business units. This is especially important for cloud and video applications. Budgets should be linked to policies and usage agreements.Policies and technical mechanisms should be implemented that will help to either optimize or even limit the video and backup traffic that occurs via the WAN and on the cloud.Implement network capacity, topology and service levels. This will allow the enterprise to support its growth with affordability. VPNs, for example, can support smaller sites and offload certain types of traffic.Reduce stored backup and video traffic through various WAN optimization strategies. Develop those strategies with cloud-hosted content in mind, rather than with content stored in your data centers.
Increasing bandwidth demands aren’t a new problem, and they’re not going away. Make sure your enterprise is ready to deal with the coming changes over the next few years.