According to ESG’s 2011 IT spending intentions survey, nearly half of all organizations will increase networking spending in 2011—good news for networking companies like Blue Coat, Cisco, Extreme Networks, F5, HP, Juniper Networks, and Riverbed. Survey respondents’ highest spending priority is network security, followed by network management, WLAN, and IP telephony. Aside from increasing spending on networking technologies, one-third of organizations adding IT staff in 2011 also plan to hire additional network administrators, making networking one of the top five areas of IT hiring need in 2011.
Many large organizations are consolidating IT infrastructure into massive data centers to lower costs, but what about application availability and performance? Massive consolidation can lead to single points of failure which could interrupt service of critical applications. ESG believes that this risk should be addressed by building applications on a Wide Area Application Architecture (WAAA) foundation, spreading applications across multiple data centers. F5 Networks has already built an enterprise-class WAAA implementation for Exchange 2010 to combine consolidation benefits with high performance and availability.
Server virtualization technology is enabling organizations to do more than just consolidate workloads, optimize hardware, and conserve data center floor space. ESG research indicates that many firms are using server virtualization technology as a way to deploy networking and security functions in virtual appliances, a form factor that offers enhanced flexibility and convenience. In the near future, however, virtual appliances will evolve to enable granular network segmentation, layered security, and off-the-shelf network/security infrastructure servers.
Jon Oltsik is an ESG senior principal analyst and the founder of the firm’s Information Security and Networking services. With 25 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in threat and security management as well as all aspects of network security. Recently, Jon has been an active participant with cybersecurity issues, legislation, and technology within the U.S. federal government. Prior to joining ESG, Jon was the founder and principal of Hype-Free Consulting. He has also held senior management positions at GiantLoop Network, Forrester Research, Epoch Systems, and EMC Corporation.
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