Carriers are struggling with growing network loads: Gigamon

Networking calls for a better approach in scaling network infrastructure

Data intensive media and apps on mobile devices are putting a strain on carrier networks, a situation that is increasingly becoming unfeasible, according to Gigamon CEO, Paul Hooper, if left unchecked.

Hooper, who heads up a vendor of network visibility products, sees several factors converging together to create a situation he dubs “a perfect storm.”

For one, he said the average revenue per user, a popular measurement that most service providers use, is “hugely decaying.”

“Although it is flat and potentially increasing in some cases, the reality is that it trending downwards,” he said.

Hooper said the cost of providing a service to generate the same amount of revenue is causing a huge inflection point in service providers’ thinking.

“You can’t continue to scale the network as the growing volume of data demands more and more, and still expect to generate the same amount of revenue,” he said.

Another problem is as the volume of data is growing, such as rich video and applications, the amount of information is growing significantly faster than the infrastructure.

“It is growing definitely faster than the service providers are able to monitor, manage and secure,” Hooper said.

Hooper adds that there is also the cost of providing this infrastructure, such as building the right tools, system and management control over an infrastructure is “running out of control.”

Trouble on the horizon

When these factors are combined together, Hooper said carriers are faced with a situation where the revenue is flat, but when measured against the scale of the network means it is actually decreasing.

In the midst of all this, the volume of data and the task of managing that are also growing.

“If you are measuring short term as being six months, then maybe things can stay as they are,” Hooper said.

“But if you look at the next 12 to 18 months, the thinking behind the way people build and monitor those networks needs to fundamentally shift.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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