In a bid to increase network performance, simplify management and enhance business efficiency, more than three-quarters of enterprises across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are looking to consolidate their existing IT infrastructure in the next 12 months, according to new research* commissioned by Brocade® (NASDAQ: BRCD). The research found that 76 percent of enterprises consider IT consolidation to be one of the top three IT issues they face in the coming year, followed by both virtualisation and security.
The 600 EMEA CIOs questioned in this study expect tomorrow’s corporate networks to fulfil a wide range of sometimes-conflicting demands. They want unprecedented scalability but reduced management complexity (61 percent). They demand seamless mobility and increased agility (38 percent), and nearly half want emerging networking technologies to complement the investments they are making today, instead of forcing them to refresh the entire environment in a wholesale “rip-and-replace” exercise, while reducing the total cost of ownership.
“Tomorrow’s networking environment will consolidate user application traffic and storage data traffic onto a single, high-performance, highly available network that has the built-in intelligence to identify different traffic types and handle them appropriately, according to predefined rules. The benefits of a unified network are clear in terms of increasing performance and enabling business productivity, not to mention reducing complexity,” stated Alberto Soto, Brocade vice president, EMEA.
Network performance is now a critical business driver, with over half of respondents citing reduced productivity (resulting from legacy systems) as having a significant effect on business success. As testament to this, 40 percent of IT departments are now spending between 10 to 30 percent of their time reacting to network downtime instead of investing in business development.
The findings reinforce Brocade’s vision that data centres and networks will evolve to a highly unified network architecture. Brocade recently outlined its vision, called Brocade One™, which is based on customer-driven demand for simplified IT architectures and cost reduction, and is designed to optimise data centre networks to support virtual servers, applications and data.
Key findings of the study include:
• 73 percent of organisations in the UK stated that the biggest driver for consolidation is IT simplification, while in Germany the biggest driver was increased agility.
• In France 21 percent of organisations are not even considering consolidation.
• In the UK 46 percent of organisations are looking to reduce overall operating costs by consolidating IT systems; in France the figure drops to 30 percent.
• When asked what they plan to consolidate, 70 percent of respondents stated their existing servers, 56 percent are considering storage and 54 percent are focusing on databases. In addition 49 percent stated their networks, and 47 percent claimed their applications.
• Perceived business benefits include improved resource utilisation (39 percent), lower overall complexity (36 percent), process and operational standardisation (34 percent) and cost reduction (31 percent).
However, according to the research, the drive to consolidate does have its barriers. A third of European respondents face resistance from within their organisation while application diversity (49 percent) and platform diversity (42 percent) are also seen as major hurdles to overcome.
Soto added, “As our research illustrates, the need for IT consolidation and its underlying technologies has gained widespread acceptance in recent years. The issue isn’t whether or not companies will consolidate—the issue is the approach. Brocade has paved the way for consolidation by combining the best characteristics of existing and emerging technologies into a new network strategy that is purpose-designed for virtualised data centres. Through these innovations, Brocade is delivering a new level of operational simplicity and seamless elasticity to help our customers more efficiently manage and grow their data centres.”
For the data centre, Brocade shares a common industry view that IT infrastructures will eventually evolve to a highly virtualised, services-on-demand state enabled through the cloud. The unique Brocade vision is based on the belief that the process, an evolutionary path toward this desired end-state, is as important as reaching the end-state. The realisation of this vision requires radically simplified network architectures.
To enable these objectives, the Brocade One strategy takes a customer-centric approach based on:
• Unmatched simplicity: Dramatically simplifying the design, deployment, configuration and ongoing support of IT infrastructures;
• Investment protection: Emphasising an approach that builds upon customers’ existing multivendor infrastructures while improving their total cost of ownership;
• High-availability networking: Supporting the ever-increasing requirements for unparalleled uptime by setting the standard for continuous operations, ease of management and resiliency;
• Optimised applications: Optimising customers’ current and future applications.
To learn more about Brocade One, visit brocade.com/brocadeone.
* The fieldwork was conducted among 600 CIOs across EMEA during mid-2010.