Security, reliability and quality of service are ranked top by IT professionals, says CenturyLink report

14 December 2017 | Natalie Bannerman


Reliability, security and quality of service have been ranked as the top requirements when choosing network solution providers, says report by CenturyLink.

Eric Barrett CenturyLink 160 x 186Carried out by the IT professionals’ network, Spiceworks, the report surveyed US-based IT professionals who are part of the Ethernet, MPLS and SD-WAN purchase decisions in their companies.

Commenting on the findings, Eric Barrett, director of marketing at CenturyLink, said: As IT professionals work to meet the increasingly complex technology demands of their organizations, they are looking to deploy versatile networks that can scale with company growth. Regardless of the type of networking technology being utilized, reliability, security and quality are the driving factors when selecting a solutions provider."   

The report gathered data on the challenges, benefits and drivers of using these networking technologies. Of those surveyed nearly half said they preferred purchasing networking solutions as part of a bundled offering, as opposed to a single solution. Almost 3 out of 10 respondents believe their organisations will need significantly more bandwidth in the next three years and more than 8 out of 10 said their organisation will require more bandwidth. More than 70% of companies said that they are using Ethernet and MPLS and more than 60% using SD-WAN, are considering vendors to assist with technology solutions.

In addition to the above key findings, other data collected included what IT professionals think of Ethernet. The survey found that 60% of respondents deploy Ethernet for either Carrier or Metro (46%) solutions. When asked how their organization plans to use Ethernet in the future, respondents said business-critical applications and workloads including email, database management, cloud-hosted services, big-data analytics and development/testing. And while most current Ethernet solutions are used for local coverage, other connections – such as Point-to-Multipoint and Multipoint-to-Multipoint – are expected to increase.

Next the report outlines what IT professionals think of MPLS networks. From the data respondents expressed confidence in MPLS's reliability and performance: 55% said they are currently deploying MPLS solutions and 45% said they are considering MPLS. More than 6 out of 10 respondents anticipate the increased use of MPLS for cloud/hosted services (66%), databases (64%) and file sharing applications/workloads (61%).  And lastly IT professionals currently researching or evaluating MPLS solutions to help with their increasing workloads cite the private, dedicated connectivity (67%) and enhanced security (62%) as the most critical factors.

And on the topic of what IT professionals think of SD-WAN: 47 % of IT professionals named lower costs, 44% said improved efficiency/productivity and 30% cited increased innovation as the top three advantages they hope to achieve by deploying an SD-WAN solution. Additionally, 45 % of respondents have already deployed SD-WAN solutions and 30% are anticipating a migration to SD-WAN within the next two years. And more than one in three respondents are using or considering an all SD-WAN solution, rather than a hybrid solution that incorporates MPLS and SD-WAN.