Window on WANs

May 25 2012   12:45PM GMT

How to solve the video-bandwidth problem

Tessa Parmenter Tessa Parmenter Profile: Tessa Parmenter

Video conference

The prevalence of video in enterprises is clear. Out of 140 network engineers, IT managers and executives who attended Interop 2012, 83% have deployed some form of video conferencing. Approximately 60% have a combination of video deployments, including desktop video, standard video conferencing and videophones — according to the sixth annual study released by Network Instruments.

While video currently consumes 29% of network bandwidth, respondents predict it will increase to 40% within the next year. In spite of this forecasting, respondents have only reserved 10% of their network capacity for video technologies, the report stated.

So where will enterprises find the bandwidth to offset the difference?

Some will turn to WAN optimization technologies to conserve bandwidth. But WAN optimization alone won’t be able to handle the already-compressed traffic of video; it will, in the very least, tighten up the bandwidth consumption of other applications. Intelligent IT pros will use a combination of video QoS techniques and WAN optimization while adding a little more bandwidth to avoid video conferencing blunders.

Yet, another solution to consider is cloud video, like Gina Narcisi reported in her recent article on putting video in the cloud: “Redirecting traffic off the WAN and onto the cloud is an idea that has vendors torn. Should enterprises select a ‘best of both worlds’ approach — a hybrid video cloud environment?”

Whichever approach is chosen, companies will need to act quickly.

“The rise in video has the potential to squeeze out other critical network traffic and degrade video quality due to the lack of network capacity. Without clear monitoring metrics and tools, it will be extremely difficult for IT to assess and ensure quality user experience,” said Stephen Brown, product marketing manager for Network Instruments.

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  • A001
    Applying QoS & reserving bandwidth is must for obtaining high quality Video Conferencing. WAN Optimization would optimize bandwidth for data applications & provide the much needed headroom for Video Conferencing.
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