Bigger Not Always Better For Networks - InformationWeek

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Bigger Not Always Better For Networks

Rather than focus on expensive and high-bandwidth networks, Gartner analysts say most companies would be better served with technologies that are geared to a distributed workforce.

Most businesses have outdated over-engineered, overpriced and underperforming networking infrastructures and that is not expected to change, according to Gartner Inc.

Gartner analysts, speaking at Gartner symposium in San Francisco this week, said a lack of focus on user requirements could lead to the waste of more than $10 billion by 2008. The analysts said that amount will be spent procuring Gigabit Ethernet for the local area network and does not include the added cost of Gigabit-equipped phones, larger power supplies, upgraded facilities and other miscellaneous requirements.

"The majority of network designers continue to be caught in traditional design practices, building and upgrading the network equates to something that's bigger and faster," Gartner Vice President and analyst Mark Fabbi said in a prepared statement. "They continue to spend money on bigger and faster core networking technologies at their headquarters and large locations that don't actually serve the user population."

He added that most businesses have growing numbers of users in home or mobile offices and could save money "by designing networks that map user requirements rather than falling into the trap of buying the next new thing."

Gartner analysts said network managers should focus on technologies that increase infrastructure capabilities and provide services to a distributed workforce.

"Astute network managers will focus their attention on the upper layers of the stack, and look to security, data control, application optimization and mobility services as key features that will benefit the organization far more than installing gigabit Ethernet for all desktops," Fabbi said.

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