2009 State of the Network Study

Economic Downturn Spurs Virtualization, Unified Communications Growth

Three-quarters lack tools and visibility into virtual environments despite surge in technology adoption

Findings show that despite experiencing the gravest economic downturn since World War II, three-quarters of companies will have invested in virtualization and unified communications by year's end due to perceived cost savings and quick return on investments.

However, 75 percent of organizations rushing to roll out new network technologies lack the tools and visibility needed to monitor and troubleshoot performance problems.

The comprehensive study involved nearly 450 CIOs, network engineers, and IT managers worldwide, and explored the economy's impact on virtualization and unified communications as well as the primary challenges in managing these technologies.

Three-quarters of organizations have virtual network environments. Currently, the majority are running less than 25 percent of applications on virtual machines. This will rapidly increase over the next two years, when the majority of applications will be hosted in virtual environments.

Surprisingly, in spite of the rapid deployment of virtualization, many network teams seem ill-prepared to troubleshoot performance problems. Over one-quarter of respondents cited a "lack of appropriate tools" as the largest troubleshooting challenge they faced in virtual environments. This was closely followed by a lack of visibility and information.

The results are based on responses from 442 network engineers, IT directors, and CIOs in North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America. Responses were collected from March 19 - April 3, 2009, through network technology seminars, interviews, and online surveys. 

Study Highlights:

Virtualization rollouts surge: Respondents predict over half of applications will run on virtual machines by 2011.

IT mostly unaffected by recession: Sixty-five percent of network teams haven't or do not expect to experience layoffs.

Emerging tech challenges: Forty-five percent saw virtualization as the greatest emerging monitoring challenge, followed by UC, cloud, and IPV6.