Reliability, security and QoS are critical when evaluating networking solutions providers

Reliability, security and quality of service all rank above cost when evaluating networking solutions providers. Spiceworks surveyed U.S.-based IT professionals who have influence on their organizations’ Ethernet, MPLS and SD-WAN purchase decisions. The survey gathered data around the challenges, benefits and drivers of utilizing these networking technologies.

evaluating networking solutions providers

Key findings

  • Nearly half of respondents preferred purchasing networking solutions as part of a bundled offering, as opposed to a single solution.
  • Nearly three out of 10 respondents believe their organizations will require significantly more bandwidth in the next three years, and more than eight out of ten respondents said their organization will require more bandwidth.
  • More than 70 percent of organizations using Ethernet and MPLS, and more than 60 percent using SD-WAN, are considering or evaluating vendors to assist with technology solutions.

What IT professionals think of Ethernet

Businesses appreciate Ethernet because it delivers higher bandwidth and capacity to better manage data growth and application performance, as well as enhanced security. The report found that a majority of respondents deploy Ethernet for either Carrier (60 percent) or Metro (46 percent) solutions.

When asked how their organization plans to utilize Ethernet in the future, respondents cited business-critical applications and workloads including email, database management, cloud-hosted services, big-data analytics and development/testing. 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.

What IT professionals think of MPLS

MPLS offers an advanced networking solution to businesses that want to create private WANs which deliver high performance, security and global reach over virtually any connection type, as well as improved bandwidth efficiency with routing and application prioritization.

evaluating networking solutions providers

Respondents expressed confidence in MPLS’s reliability and performance: 55 percent noted they are currently deploying MPLS solutions and 45 percent say they are considering MPLS. Additional findings include:

  • Wider use cases are expected – more than six out of 10 respondents anticipate the increased use of MPLS for cloud/hosted services (66 percent), databases (64 percent) and file sharing (61 percent) applications/workloads.
  • MPLS’s benefits include secure connectivity – IT professionals currently researching or evaluating MPLS solutions to help with their increasing workloads cite the private, dedicated connectivity (67 percent) and enhanced security (62 percent) as critical factors.

What IT professionals think of SD-WAN

SD-WAN has become popular with geographically dispersed businesses such as retail and financial services because it enables administrators to better control network management with software, resulting in simplified deployment, centralized management and reduced costs. Key findings include:

  • IT professionals named lower costs (47 percent), improved efficiency/productivity (44 percent) and increased innovation (30 percent) as the top three advantages they hope to achieve by deploying an SD-WAN solution.
  • Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) have already deployed SD-WAN solutions and 30 percent are anticipating a migration to SD-WAN within the next two years.
  • 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.