InformationWeek Analytics New Research Finds 47% of Companies Allocating Funds to Improve WAN Connectivity

18% say they're currently upgrading; 27% say they have upgrade plans under way.

Mar 02, 2011, 09:15 ET from UBM TechWeb

SAN FRANCISCO, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- InformationWeek Analytics, the leading service for peer-based IT research and analysis, today announced the release of its latest research report; Next-Gen WAN Options. This report explores the expanding choices available for companies connecting branch and remote offices to headquarters. More than 330 business technology decision-makers responded to this exclusive survey. The report author, Jake McTigue, is IT manager for Carwild Corp. and a senior consulting network engineer for NSI.

Research Summary:

Our next-generation WAN analysis, based on survey responses from more than 330 IT professionals on current and planned wide-area network deployments, delves into MPLS, a popular protocol for multisite connectivity, and compares the pros and cons of VPLS and Cisco's OTV, new services designed to extend Ethernet across the WAN. In addition to analysis of the survey research, it includes a primer on connectivity options, covering SONET, Carrier Ethernet and Fiber to the Node.


  • Of the 90% of our survey respondents whose firms have three or more branch offices, 43% say they have 16 or more branch offices.
  • T1 and business-centric broadband rank highest in circuit use for site-to-site connectivity, at 81% and 74% respectively, with Carrier Ethernet and T3 next, at 62% and 61%; Carrier Ethernet is projected to jump almost twice as much as T3 in the next 12 months.
  • IP VPNs dominate WAN services, with 82% of respondents reporting they use this technology; MPLS and Carrier Ethernet both came in more than 20 points behind, but with higher potential growth rates.
  • Most respondents say they're satisfied with their current WAN features—uptime garnered 3.9 out of 5 on the satisfaction scale, but cost landed at 3.2.
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents allocate 11% to 15% of their IT budgets to network connectivity, and 23% allocate 16% or more; 47% say they've dedicated funds to improving connectivity.
  • 18% say they're in the process of a WAN upgrade; another 27% say they have WAN upgrade plans in the works, and 20% say they want to upgrade but are holding off, most due to budget.
  • 43% of respondents say they're considering deploying MPLS, VPLS or OTV.

For full access to the research data, members can download now:

"MPLS has been around forever and it's great, but it can't do everything, especially when it comes to extending Ethernet outside the data center," says Lorna Garey, content director of InformationWeek Analytics. "And it's not cheap, either. So any company looking into a WAN upgrade--whether to improve connectivity, get better application performance, save money or any other reason--would be wise to investigate the newer technologies as well."

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Art Wittmann

VP & Managing Director InformationWeek Analytics