Cisco reseller finds half of enterprise networks obsolete

BYOD, video, virtualization and just plain ol' end-of-sale means 45% will have to be upgraded in next 5 years

Almost half of all enterprise networks will be obsolete within five years due to an inability to support new trends like BYOD, video and broadening virtualization. That's the finding of Cisco reseller Dimension Data, which conducted its annual Network Barometer Report of 300 technology lifecycle assessments at enterprises worldwide.

The Network Barometer Report attempts to evaluate the state of enterprise network to support ongoing business operations. It assesses adherence to best practices, potential security vulnerabilities and the end-of-life status of network devices.

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This year's assessment found that BYOD, video and virtualization are rapidly consuming network capacity and capabilities, so much so that 45% of the enterprise networks assessed will be obsolete in five years. This finding represents a 38% increase over the assessments in the 2011 study, Dimension Data said.

Coincidentally - or not -- Dimension Data also found that the total number of devices that were past end-of-sale jumped from 38% to 45%. So regardless of BYOD, video or virtualization, this gear would have been obsolete anyway once service and support commitments were up five years after end-of-sale.

Of course, all this mean goodness for Dimension Data and Cisco, which can drive the upgrade cycle based on these findings.

The Network Barometer Report for 2012 assessed networks in 2011. Among its other key findings were:

  • The percentage of devices that are at the end-of-sale phase increased from 4.2% in 2010 to 70% in 2011;
  • Only 18% of all access switches are able to support desktop virtualization and pervasive video;
  • Two-thirds of all devices assessed in 2011 had at least one known security vulnerability;
  • Of the known security vulnerabilities discovered, four of the 10 most prevalent were new, and three have a "high severity" rating while one is "critical."

Said Dimension Data of this event:

These findings underscored the need for organizations to ensure that their IOS patch management processes are comprehensive and that they screen for security vulnerabilities regularly.

The percentage of devices with security vulnerabilities stayed roughly the same: 73% last year vs. 75% this year, the Dimension Data study found.

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