Data Centers Struggle to Meet New Tech Challenges Credit: Global network image via Shutterstock

The majority of data centers aren't holding up under the increased strain from new technology like video conferencing and remote access, research shows.

A new study from network solutions provider Brocade revealed that many businesses still depend on antiquated data center infrastructures that are having a significant impact on both productivity and customer experience.

While three-quarters of companies have updated their IT environments in the last three years, 91 percent of IT decision-makers said their current IT infrastructures still require substantial upgrades to meet the ever-changing and unique networking requirements created by virtualization and cloud computing.

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The research shows that 61 percent of data-center personnel admitted their corporate networks are not fit for their intended purpose, with more than 40 percent saying that network downtime has caused their business financial hardship either through lost revenue or breached service-level agreements or from their customers' lack of confidence. Outages last on average 20 minutes, with 2 percent of those surveyed having to endure outages of more than an hour      

"Many data centers that exist today are based on 20-year-old technologies, and the simple fact is that they can no longer keep up with demand," said Jason Nolet, vice president of data center switching and routing at Brocade. "Virtualization and cloud models require greater network agility and performance, as well as reduced operational cost and complexity."

The study found that many forward-thinking companies are making strides to deploy more scalable network environments, with 18 percent already using fabric-based networks, and more than half planning to roll out Ethernet fabrics in the next year to support virtualization plans.

The study was based on surveys of 1,750 IT decision-makers and office workers within companies across North America, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

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