And how many apps do you think you have on your network?

I had a very interesting chat with Dave Asprey, Blue Coat's CTO, while he was in London recently. One of the things we talked about was his company's survey of UK network managers in which more than half the participants said they reckoned at least 40 percent of their network bandwidth was going on recreational or non-business applications.

A similar number also said they thought that the actual number of apps on their networks has at least tripled over the last two years.

Asprey's interest in all this is application visibility, of course - between its security and WAN acceleration devices and its acquisition and integration of Packeteer and its Packetshaper line, the company now has a big stake in this area.

However, while the numbers are scary, they are only estimates - and as Asprey pointed out, at least now people know that there's something going on that they don't know enough about.

And he said we're ahead in the UK in that we at least recognise there is a problem here - when network managers in Southern Europe were asked the same questions, many of them said they didn't see much value in application and application performance information!

As he added, without that information, you might know that 40 percent of your bandwidth is wasted, but you won't know which 40 percent.

So my question is: do you know where your bandwidth is going? Do the numbers mentioned above look about right to you, or are they underestimates?