TRAC is publishing a 2-part article about key trends in the Network Performance Monitoring market in 2013. The first part analyzes top market trends based on TRAC’s survey data while Part 2 will analyze key changes in the technology vendor landscape in 2013.
TRAC’s 2013 Network Performance Monitoring research is based on insights from more than 500 user organizations. Here is a brief overview of some of the key findings:
- Network becoming more of a strategic asset. A top strategic goal of IT executives for network performance management is enabling networks to support new technology rollouts and major strategic initiatives (53% of organizations). Additionally, 42% of organizations reported that improving the quality of user experience is one of their top strategic goals for managing network performance. This shows that the role of the network is becoming more strategic, as network performance is having a major impact on all key business processes and effectiveness of business users.
- The need for leveraging network data for business purposes. 36% of organizations reported that lack of visibility into the business impact of network performance is one of the key challenges for network performance management. Additionally, the concept of Wire Data is receiving more traction with end-user organizations, as they are increasingly looking to maximize the value of network data they are collecting and use it more for business and operational purposes.
- Challenges of managing network performance in virtualized environments. TRAC’s research shows that the #1 challenge for using Network Management Systems (NMS) is the inability to troubleshoot problems in virtualized environments. This comes as a result of organizations virtualizing their infrastructures and finding that their current NPM tools are not as effective in these environments.
- Challenges of managing 10Gb networks. Many organizations are finding that network monitoring tools they deployed in the past are not as effective when used to monitor and record traffic from high speed links. As a result, organizations are reporting that the ability to analyze and report issues at 10Gb line rate is the #1 capability they are looking to deploy.
- UC applications making a major impact on network performance and visibility. Organizations are reporting that VoIP is the #1 IT initiative in terms of the impact on network performance. In general, organizations report that different flavors of Unified Communications (UC) technologies and other real-time applications are posing some of the most significant challenges for effectively managing network performance.
- Big Data and analytics making a major impact. TRAC’s research shows that there is no significant correlation between the number of metrics that organizations are collecting around network performance and their effectiveness in dealing with key management challenges. This isn’t to say that organizations should not be looking to capture more advanced metrics, but shows that the key for effective network performance management strategies is deploying analytics capabilities that can make NPM data more actionable.
- The importance of pricing and deployment options. 61% of organizations reported that ease of deploying NPM solutions is one of the key criteria when evaluating these products, while 58% reported that vendors’ pricing models are very important to them in the selection process. This shows that organizations are increasingly looking for more flexibility when evaluating NPM solutions and are expecting shorter time-to-value from these deployments.
- Convergence of NPM and APM. TRAC’s 2013 APM Spectrum shows that the ability to monitor network and application performance through a single platform as the key capability that is driving new purchases of APM technologies. Additionally, 34% of organizations that participated in TRAC’s NPM research reported that they are looking for network monitoring tools that will enable them to have end-to-end visibility into application transactions. This shows further convergence of technologies for network and application performance monitoring, especially when they are being used by IT Operations job roles.
- Root cause analysis remains one of the key challenges. 64% of organizations reported that managing network performance has become more complex over the last 12 months. Additionally, 46% of organizations reported that the inability to identify a root cause of performance issues in a timely manner is the key challenge for network performance.
- Increased importance of making tools more effective. 35% of organizations reported that their network monitoring tools being oversubscribed is one of the key challenges for network performance monitoring. In general, organizations are becoming more interested in deploying Network Monitoring Switch technologies to deal with this and other key network monitoring challenges. Research findings specific to the Network Monitoring Switches market will be analyzed in a separate analyst note.