Future networks will cost about half of what traditional networks cost today. They will require a smaller capital investment to roll out, and will be cheaper to operate because they’ll be easier to manage, provide unified access, and require less power and cooling.
Today, most campus networks comprise around 80% wired ports serving individual users, and 20% WLAN ports supporting multiple users. However, there’s a growing swell of users across the globe pushing organisations to create “bring your own device” ready environments, and usher in the enterprise mobility era that will inevitably change the structure of networks.
That’s according to the 2013 Network Barometer Report released by Dimension Data. First published in 2009, the report draws on data from Dimension Data’s proprietary Technology Lifecycle Management (TLM) Assessment completed for over 1 200 organisations of all sizes from all industry sectors, and across all geographies over the past five years.
Michael Abendanon, Dimension Data South Africa GM for Network Integration, says today’s users want the freedom to move around as they please, and still be able to access the information and tools they need, seamlessly, from wherever they are, and using their own mobile devices.
“When comparing a traditional wired network deployment supporting 100 users to a wireless network of the same size, the reduction in physical hardware – LAN switches, discrete wireless LAN controller and cabling – makes the wireless network up to 50% less expensive.
“In addition to the capital savings, the operation and management of this user environment is also reduced. In our opinion, these cost savings add to the well documented benefits of a mobile workforce and will drive enterprise mobility adoption at an ever increasing rate,” he says.
According to Abendanon, data in the 2013 Network Barometer Report indicates that organisations aren’t upgrading their networks for enterprise mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments as aggressively as expected, but this will inevitably change to accommodate the new structure of future networks and the cost saving that this brings.
“We advise clients to think, plan and budget more architecturally, rather than reactively, when refreshing networks. The pressure to provide a more flexible, wireless environment conducive to enterprise mobility and BYOD will only grow stronger in the future,” he says.