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Surveys Reveal New Chasm – Hype vs. Reality

WildPackets recently conducted a network-related survey at Interop Las Vegas, Cisco Live!, and online. In total, over 250 responses came in (not an enormous sample, but statistically relevant). It should be noted that approximately 75% of the participants use products other than WildPackets for network analysis – the survey was as objective as possible.

From this experience (and others), we’ve concluded that surveys are good at revealing “chasms” between what is being written about in the tech trades today and what is actually being adopted by businesses.

While tech trades provide ample coverage about 10 Gigabit Ethernet and its “onslaught” of adoption, only 28% of survey respondents have these fat pipes in production. An overwhelming majority, around 65%, work with Gigabit Ethernet, 10/100 Ethernet, WAN and / or wireless.

Conversely, surveys can reveal or validate themes and perceptions in the marketplace. For example, this particular survey supported one of the 2009 themes – the increase in distributed operations – that Craig Mathias recently pointed out in his recent webcast, “Wireless LAN Operations: 5 Key Challenges that Stifle Productivity.” Survey results indicated that 81% of organizations primarily use network traffic analysis software for either distributed 24×7 monitoring or distributed real-time troubleshooting and analysis.

Perhaps a statistical anomaly, but we were surprised at how few (2%) of the respondents use Aruba network equipment compared to Cisco (the highest at 36%), HP, Dell, Juniper and Foundry. NOTE: this particular survey question was not asked at the Cisco Live! event.

Below is a detailed look into the survey results (with graphs!).

Results

NOTE: Survey respondents could select more than one answer for most questions; percentages will not add up to 100%.

  • Types of Networks Managed by Respondents:

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  • Average Network Throughput Reported by Respondents:

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  • Respondents’ Primary Usages of Network Analysis Software:

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Findings

Surprisingly, most of the findings from our website survey supported the findings from our Interop survey. There were a few striking differences.

  • 66% of the Interop respondents, compared to 72% of the website respondents, manage a 10/100 Ethernet network either solely or with other types of networks. Only 59% of the Cisco Live! respondents manage a 10/100 Ethernet network either solely or with other types of networks.
  • 35% of the Interop respondents, compared to 29% of the website respondents, who reported managing a Gigabit Ethernet network managed a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network as well. 60% of Cisco Live! respondents managed both a Gigabit Ethernet network and 10 Gigabit Ethernet network.
  • 61% of the Interop respondents, compared to 86% of the website respondents, who managed VoIP/Video in their network, managed either a Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet network. 100% of the Cisco Live! respondents who managed VoIP/Video managed either a Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet network.
  • Also, 3% of the Interop respondents (5% of the website respondents) reported managing only a Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, compared to 13% of Cisco Live! respondents.

Additionally, website respondents as well as Cisco Live! respondents were more likely than Interop respondents to use network analysis software for distributed data collection for post-capture (forensic) analysis: 26% of the website respondents and 27% of the Cisco Live! respondents, compared to 7% of the Interop respondents. Cisco Live! survey respondents were also less likely to use network traffic analysis software for local real-time troubleshooting (27% versus 49% average for all survey respondents) and more likely to use it for distributed 24×7 monitoring (50% versus 39% average for all survey respondents).

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