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Study: Cloud Complicates Networks More than SDN, NFV

Also: Most organizations aren't yet ready for network automation.

Cloud adoption -- not disruptive trends such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) -- is introducing the most complexity into enterprise networking, according to a new study from Kentik.

The network traffic intelligence specialist today published initial results from a survey of Cisco Live 2017 attendees designed to gauge how network challenges are affecting enterprise digital transformations.

"The results reveal that cloud adoption is still the most vexing factor in increased network complexity, ahead of the Internet of Things (IoT), software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV)," the company said in a news release today.

Specifically, 36 percent of 203 IT professionals surveyed during the conference said adopting cloud computing adds the greatest network complexity to their organizations, followed by IoT (21 percent), SDN (12 percent) and NFV (3 percent).

"In addition," Kentik said, "while machine learning is strongly embraced as an important technology for network management, most organizations aren't yet ready for network automation. In fact, most are still in the process of gaining sound operational visibility, integrating network management tool stacks, and implementing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) security for their cloud and digital initiatives."

Other key findings of the survey released early include:

  • Most organizations still have room to improve operational visibility for cloud and digital business networking: Only 20 percent of survey respondents think their organizations are doing an excellent job of monitoring the performance and security of their cloud and Internet dependencies -- for example, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Web APIs and Web services. Another 25 percent reported that their organizations are doing a below-average to poor job.
  • Organizations need better DDoS detection capabilities: Despite the spike in DDoS attacks, including those hitting Dyn in October and Cloudflare in December, only 32 percent of respondents reported that their company is using DDoS detection technology to manage security of their cloud and internet dependencies.
  • Machine learning is a priority, but most aren't ready for automation: 60 percent of respondents said machine learning is "extremely important" or "very important" for network management. However, only 14 percent said their organization is ready for full network management automation.

In describing the survey methodology, Kentik said respondents came from more than 12 industries and held job titles ranging from network engineers and network architects to infrastructure managers, directors and executives. Most respondents work at organizations with 1,000 or more employees.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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