At Cumulus Networks, we’re dedicated to listening to feedback about what people want from their data centers and developing products and functionality that the industry really needs. As a result, in early 2017, we launched a survey all about trends in data center and web-scale networking to get a better understanding of what the landscape looks like. With over 130 respondents from various organizations and locations across the world, we acquired some pretty interesting data. This blog post will take you through a little teaser of what we discovered (although if you just can’t wait to read the whole thing, you can check out the full report here) and a brief analysis of what this data means. So, what exactly are people looking for in their data centers this coming year? Let’s look over some of our most fascinating findings.

What initiatives are organizations most invested in?

There are a lot of exciting ways to optimize a data center, but what major issues are companies most concerned with? Well, according to the data we acquired, cost-effective scalability is the most pressing matter on organizations’ minds. Improved security follows behind at a close second, as we can tell from the graph below.

What is the primary network challenge that you anticipate your organization might face in the next 3 years?

web-scale data

In addition to these necessary initiatives, companies are also looking to incorporate new innovations. As our survey demonstrates, the networking features that people are most interested in are automation, network virtualization, and monitoring and troubleshooting.

As it relates to new networking gear/software, which features do you really care about? (select all that apply)

web-scale data

What is standing in the way of innovation?

Web-scale practices can provide organizations with the solutions and innovations they need to optimize their data centers. So, what’s holding them back from achieving those goals? From what we gathered, it appears that there are two factors at play. As demonstrated in the graph below, the main reasons companies are reluctant to make the switch are that they are still reliant on traditional networking and do not support open networking principles.

What has prevented your organization from adopting web-scale and open networking principles?

web-scale data
It seems that, despite the desire to improve the data center, people let the status quo hold them back. In this respect, stability is also a major concern for organizations since they are reluctant to move away from what they are comfortable with, even if it means sacrificing the innovations they hope to achieve.

Conclusion: it’s all about security, scalability, and stability

Our research makes it very clear that the initiatives organizations are most concerned with are security and scalability. However, in spite of the desire to innovate, they’re letting themselves be held back by clinging to traditional solutions. So, if you want to ensure that your data center isn’t being brought down by the cost of stability, check out the rest of our web-scale data report. You’ll find more of the intriguing data points we pulled from our survey, plus tips and tricks about bringing security and scalability to your data center.