There is a new transport standard at the core of enterprise networks, and a lot of shiny new upgrades to core networking components, but security remains the top worry of enterprise network managers.
One gigabit-per-second Ethernet links have been replaced by 10Gb/sec connections for 75 percent of companies polled in a survey released Oct. 24 by TheInfoPro, a market-research company owned by the 451 Group.
Networking budgets have been rising steadily for several years as networking managers struggle to upgrade quickly enough to keep up with demand for bandwidth for cloud-computing and mobile connections, according to Daniel Kennedy, TheInfoPro analyst and lead author of the report.
Most networking projects during 2012 were “still in catch-up mode” as network managers tried to keep up with increases in cloud computing and mobile computing projects that took off more quickly than most companies were prepared to accommodate them, Kennedy added. Between 2010 and 2011, 48 percent of companies reported networking budget increases; during 2012, only 39 percent reported increases, while 23 percent reported decreases.
The result has been an almost complete shift to 10 Gbit/sec Ethernet connections at the core of the network, replacing 1 Gbit/sec connections as the new de facto corporate standard.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said they are in the process of rolling out 10Gbit/sec Ethernet beyond the core and into campus networks; another 6 percent expect to start similar roll-outs soon.
Having the upgrade or replacement of network switches become the second most-common networking project indicates “that the general network refresh is expanding into network campuses,” Kennedy wrote. This year, however, expansions, upgrades and reinforcement of wireless networks surpassed network switches as the most popular project – though even that’s just another response to demand from users wanting more bandwidth while using the corporate nets to link devices that work farther and farther away from the network core each year.
The top priority for network managers, however, is security.
Forty-five percent of survey respondents told TheInfoPro their network security budgets increased during 2012, with the intention of improving endpoint and network data-leak prevention and application-aware firewalls, according to a separate survey published in December. Only 8 percent said they had reduced network security budgets.
Many of those upgrades were handled alongside upgrades in core capacity and hardware, with most of the focus remaining on the wired network rather than the mobile one.
Installing or upgrading systems for mobile device management was the most-often-cited specific project; 20 percent of respondents said they would launch MDM projects during the first six months of 2013, and another 9 percent planning projects farther out than that.
Market researchers Global Industry Analysts predicted the global market for mobile security would grow to $14.4 billion by 2017.
That may be an underestimate, according to a Sept. 2 report from SNS Research, which predicts spending on enterprise mobile security will top $9 billion this year and grow 21 percent per year for the next seven years, to more than $30 billion by 2020.
The overall IT security market, on the other hand, is due to grow only 8.7 percent this year, according to research firm Gartner.
Much of the difference comes due to the shift from security focused on particular devices to those focused on security specific applications or data, according to Gartner’s report. The report also predicts the amount of data needed to let mobile-app developers know how to build more secure applications will, itself, become another significant market within the overall mobile-security market.
Image:Shutterstock.com/ Sreenivasulu Vallepu