Ziff Davis and IDG Confirm that Branch Office Centralization is Creating Challenges for 95 Percent of Large Enterprises

Independent research by Computerworld, InfoWorld, and Ziff Davis Research reveal dissatisfaction with application response time, security concerns and a significant rise in non-TCP traffic

Mountain View, Calif. – Nov. 3, 2005 – Silver Peak Systems (www.silver-peak.com), a developer of enterprise-class network acceleration appliances, today announced the results of three separate surveys of IT executives, conducted in conjunction with Computerworld , InfoWorld and Ziff Davis Media publications.  A common trend emerged from these separate surveys:  95 percent of all CIOs and IT managers experienced one or more challenges as they attempted to centralize servers and deliver applications over a Wide Area Network (WAN) to users in branch offices.  Slow application response times and reduced user productivity were the most common problems cited by the survey respondents.  Controlling IT costs, security and compliance were cited as the major drivers for the move towards centralization.  Voice over IP (VoIP), streaming video and other non-TCP traffic was highlighted by the respondents as the fastest growing applications, which present unique application delivery challenges to distributed enterprises.

Over 1,100 individuals participated in the surveys, which were individually managed by Computerworld , Infoworld , and Ziff Davis Media.  Questions were sent to qualified ITinfluencers within each publication’s reader base, and data were gathered and tabulated independently by the respective publications.  Respondents spanned a wide spectrum of industries, including manufacturing, technology, education, healthcare, financial services, transportation and utilities.  Respondent companies had, on average, over 200 offices and over 1,000 employees.

A Clear Mandate for Server Centralization
Confirming the drive toward centralizing servers in branch offices, only 13 percent of respondents in one survey viewed the deployment of local servers in branch offices as a viable option going forward.  As further evidence, a full 86 percent of respondents indicated that they have taken actions in the last 12 months to facilitate branch office sever centralization.  The most common steps have included upgrades to networking and security equipment (e.g., routers and firewalls) and increases to WAN bandwidth. 

Enterprises Feeling the Pain
Interestingly, over 80 percent of surveyed enterprises have not been satisfied with the results of these actions and plan to make additional investments to address application delivery challenges over the next 18 months.  Many enterprises are unsure where exactly future investments will be made, but a noticeable increase was observed in those respondents citing compression, Quality of Service (QoS) and WAN optimization as anticipated areas of future concentration (25 percent). 

“It is clear that the vast majority of enterprises wants to centralize branch office infrastructure, but are not satisfied with conventional solutions for doing so,” Arun Taneja, founder Taneja Group.  “The most successful companies are those that take a strategic approach to application delivery. They are making infrastructure investments that work across all WAN links, across all applications, and fundamentally change the very way that traffic is sent across the WAN.”

As further evidence of the pain enterprises are experiencing, a majority of enterprises surveyed indicated that they could justify past and future investments in infrastructure upgrades based solely on improvements in application availability and reliability, and the increased user productivity that goes along with it.  Given these overwhelming benefits, only 1 in 5 respondents indicated that a detailed Return on Investment (ROI) analysis was required to justify these expenditures to upper management.

Growth in VoIP and Video Drive New Requirements for Application Acceleration Equipment
Also of interest throughout the reports was a common theme pertaining to the types of applications deployed in distributed enterprises.  On average, 27 percent of enterprise WAN traffic is not using the Transport Control Protocol (TCP), which is a big departure from expectations as many people tend to believe that TCP accounts for the vast majority of enterprise WAN traffic.  The most common non-TCP applications observed in these surveys include voice (VoIP), streaming video, NFS, and proprietary applications, which use the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) instead of TCP.  VoIP and steaming video is particularly important, as almost 15 percent of the enterprises surveyed cited plans to roll out new instances of these applications in the next year and a half.

“UDP is a not-so-hidden secret in enterprise networks,” said Jim Metzler, vice president at Ashton, Metzler & Associates.  “It is becoming more and more prevalent as voice and video continue to evolve in the enterprise, making it increasingly difficult to deploy TCP-only solutions for enterprise application delivery. This application mix also underscores the need for QoS over the WAN to ensure that all applications are delivered reliably.”

About the Surveys
In August 2005, Computerworld , Infoworld , and Ziff Davis Media each individually invited their own IT influencer audiences to participate in a short survey on the challenges companies are facing with respect to application delivery.  The goal of the surveys was to better understand the challenges that large enterprises (500 or more employees) face related to application delivery to distributed locations.  The surveys were commissioned by Silver Peak Systems, Inc., but data was gathered and tabulated independently by the respective publications.

To obtain a copy of the complete survey results, please visit www.silver-peak.com/infocenter .

About Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
Silver Peak enables enterprises to centralize branch office infrastructure and improve application performance across a Wide Area Network (WAN). The company pioneered Local Instance Networking, a technology that reduces “server sprawl” and achieves exceptional acceleration for all applications, including bulk TCP applications, file transfer services, real-time applications like Citrix, media applications and VoIP in an application transparent manner.

Silver Peak’s NX Series appliances use Network Memory™ to eliminate the transfer of redundant information over the WAN to deliver a secure, LAN-like experience for distributed applications. It is the only solution to operate at the network layer, providing scalability and performance enhancements across all enterprise applications through a combination of local information storage, advanced data fingerprinting, data reduction, compression, Quality of Service (QoS), and latency/loss mitigation.

Silver Peak is headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit http://www.silver-peak.com.

NOTE: Silver Peak Systems, the Silver Peak logo, Silver Peak Network Memory and Silver Peak NX-Series are trademarks of Silver Peak Systems, Inc.