Are Legacy Networks Holding Back Cloud Deployments?

Riverbed future of networking survey reveals that a major hurdle to full-scale cloud transformation is sitting in the network.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 20, 2017
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Riverbed Technology released its Future of Networking Global Survey 2017 on Sept. 20 providing insight from 1,000 IT decision makers across nine countries.

Among the high-level finding in the report is that 91 percent of respondents believe they nee a next generation network in order to fully embrace the cloud. The challenge however is that 85 percent of organizations are years away from having a next-generation network and are being held back by existing legacy network deployments.

"This survey and the resulting data reveal the tremendous pressure that IT decision makers are under to execute their cloud strategies, achieve digital transformation and keep pace with the speed of innovation that is the norm in today’s hypercompetitive markets," Jerry M. Kennelly, co-founder and CEO, Riverbed Technology stated. "It was almost unanimous that to have a successful cloud strategy, organizations must adopt next-gen software-defined networking immediately to support it."

Defining what constitutes a next-generation network is all about enabling agile, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) technologies, according to Riverbed.

As it turns out the lack of SD-WAN adoption today is a concern. Currently only 4 percent of organization are using SD-WAN today, though 93 percent of respondents indicated they pan to adopt SD-WAN in the next four years.

The impact of having a legacy network, while still making use of cloud services is non-trivial. 93 percent of Riverbed's survey respondents said that they experience cloud-related issues at least once a month due to legacy network limitations.

Among the reasons why legacy networks are holding back organizations, 69 percent said that it was a lack of visibility into the cloud. The challenge of using legacy non-SDN networking technologies to connect to the cloud is a major pain point for IT professionals.

In one of the more whimsical survey questions, Riverbed asked what respondents would give up in order to improve their network. Among the responses, 42 percent said that they would stop drinking coffee.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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