HP: Enterprise networks killed by cloud

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Enterprise networks are being throttled by cloud and bring your own device (BYOD) schemes, as IT departments under invest in new infrastructure.

This is the view of hardware giant HP, who said many firms are trying to run devices and cloud services on networks that are not fit for purpose.

Just because you have the infrastructure in place, doesn't mean its going to be sufficient

Speaking at the launch of the HP Enterprise App Store in central London, the firm's head of innovation and sustainable computing, Ian Brooks, said: "The challenges on the network will change profoundly over the next two years.

"The things that happen [during this time] will put completely different demands on the network...and just because you happen to have [an infrastructure in place] doesn't mean, when you introduce cloud computing or video on-demand, that it's still going to be sufficient," he explained.

Brooks said he found it astonishing that networks are so rarely at the "front of mind" of IT decision makers when planning their move to the cloud.

"People need to understand that all these things we're hoping to achieve around cloud are all posing completely different challenges to the network," he added.

However, Darren Parkes, networking consulting strategy lead at HP, said businesses preparing to embrace cloud and BYOD should not feel under pressure to rip out and replace their existing infrastructure.

Speaking to IT Pro, he said: "The first thing we would say to clients is, don't panic. Panicking could end up costing you a hell of a lot of money.

"In the enterprise, so much hangs on IT that you simply can't rip and replace. So, it's a case of [making] small, quick, changes."

In terms of future-proofing the network, Parkes said IT departments should focus their efforts on tackling the problem of BYOD first and cloud later.

"Cloud is more of a top down initiative, something the business and CEO knows about and has approved, whereas BYOD is a bit more organic in organisations," said Parkes.

"Some organisations put a total block on it [BYOD], but people still find a way for their mobile phones to do stuff and access the Wi-Fi environment.

"Out of the two things, I'd say BYOD and the demands mobility, unified communications and collaboration have on the network is a more pressing concern."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.