You must have noticed that the traffic on your network is getting more diverse - surely there can't be anyone out there who hasn't! The question is, what are you doing to plan for when it all gets too much to manage with the tools and working practices you're using today?

The network management companies have certainly noticed that everything is converging - just look at the number of new products there have been recently. Last week we saw Network General, NetScout and Network Instruments all push out new software releases.

This week it's WildPackets and bandwidth monitoring in general that have come to the fore.

The thing that links all these is that networks are being asked to do more. They're being asked to carry more traffic and more types of traffic, and all too often they're being asked to do it without much extra in the way of hardware.

I've recently heard several network managers say that they're now running VoIP, but they haven't bothered with the complexity of implementing QoS. It works fine without it, they say.

For now, perhaps.

But as more and more different applications with different needs move onto your IP network, you're going to need to keep a closer eye on bandwidth usage, and spend more time making sure those applications play nicely together.

So are you ready for convergence? If not, there's going to be tears before bedtime...