A survey of 1,750 workers in enterprises around the globe suggests that many datacentres are poorly equipped for the challenges of cloud computing and virtualisation.
The Vanson Bourne poll, sponsored by Brocade, found that many respondents' datacentres are still relying on 20-year-old kit.
Worse, many respondents said they did not feel confident their infrastructure could cope, or that their organisation already has many network failures each week.
The survey, which asked a range of office workers and "IT decision makers" in enterprises located in the UK, France, Germany and North America, found that 91 per cent of respondents believe their IT infrastructure requires "substantial upgrades" to meet the changing requirements of virtualisation and cloud.
Thirty-three per cent of those polled said their organisations "experience multiple network failures" every week.
"The datacentre network has never been placed under greater strain. However, 61 per cent of datacentre personnel confided that their corporate networks are not fit for the intended purpose, with 41 per cent admitting that network downtime has caused their business financial hardship either directly – through lost revenue or breached SLAs – or from their customers' lack of confidence," Brocade said in its PR announcement about the survey.
Sixteen per cent claimed they saw daily network outages.
Forty-one per cent said database applications caused the most problems, 30 per cent said communication tools were worst, and 25 per cent said Microsoft Office programs cause the most issues for the network.
"Outages last on average 20 minutes, with two per cent having to endure outages of more than an hour.
"More than a third of workers stated that outages have caused SLAs to be missed, with customers not receiving goods or services; 41 per cent added that this has caused customers to seek recompense," said Brocade.
According to the vendor, many respondents are still using 20-year-old technology.
• Enterprises were upgrading their datacentre networks every two years on average. Twenty-four per cent wait more than three years before buying new technology.
• Seventy-nine per cent of decision makers said departments were using cloud services. Thirteen per cent said this may have occurred without guidance from the IT department.
• Seventy-five per cent said they had datacentres on the premises. Some 19 per cent said they outsource them.
• Forty-two per cent said software-defined networking could potentially increase productivity.
• About 46 per cent of servers at the respondents' businesses are being virtualised today but this is tipped to rise over the next few years.
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