Who in your company first notices when apps performance starts to degrade?

* End users are often the first to shout when apps have slowed

Last time, we discussed the perceived value of IT based on feedback that we got at the recent Network World IT Roadmap seminar in Chicago. In this newsletter, we are going to discuss the feedback that we received in Chicago relative to application delivery.

We have written a number of newsletters about application delivery (see the newsletter links below). One theme that we have explored in these newsletters is the move by many companies to consolidate servers out of their branch offices and into centralized data centers. While it is easy to make the argument for why companies should consolidate servers, this does not necessarily mean that companies are indeed doing such consolidation. We decided to test this with the seminar attendees and were pleased to see that roughly 40% of the attendees indicate that their company either had already begun, or soon would begin, to consolidate their servers.

Consolidating servers into centralized data centers can have many positive affects, such as lowering cost and giving IT organizations more control over the company's data. However, server consolidation can also lead to poor application performance now that branch office employees are accessing applications over a WAN instead of a LAN. To understand how well IT organizations are equipped to deal with poor application performance, Jim asked the seminar attendees that if the performance of one of their company's key applications began to degrade, who would notice it first? The end-user? The IT team? The answer is that in almost every case, the end user notices application degradation before the IT organization.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have created a survey to explore a variety of issues, including application degradation. We want to know if your organization is similar to the seminar attendees in that end users notice application degradation before the IT organization. Also, while we think it should be a management problem if application degradation is first noticed by end users, we want to know if your senior IT managers find that to be a serious problem. We would appreciate it if you could fill out this survey and we'll share the results of the survey in future newsletters.

Here are some recent newsletters in which we've covered application delivery: "Application benchmarking helps you to determine how apps will perform"; "Making sure the apps your senior managers care about work well over the WAN"; "Where best to implement network and application acceleration, Part 1"; and "Where best to implement network and application acceleration, Part 2".

* Editor's Note: Network World's IT Roadmap is coming to Dallas on Sept. 13, and to the Bay Area on Nov. 30. The conference is free to qualified attendees. Go here for more details and to register.

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