Many organisations are still dependent on archaic data centre infrastructures despite the knock on effect they can have on the end-user experience and levels of productivity, according to research released today.

Brocade, which commissioned the survey said the results showed that many organisations were using the same data centre technology that has been in place for the last 20 years.

The study, carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of the networking company, found that 91 per cent of 1,750 IT decision-makers needed to carry out substantial infrastructure upgrades on their networks if they wanted to meet the demands presented by virtualisation and cloud computing.

Brocade said businesses should adopt fabric-based networks to deal with the strains of today’s computing environments and improve the uptime of their data centres.

“Fabric solutions are self-forming, self-aggregating and self-healing, so the network automatically ‘works around’ points of failure to ensure access and uptime while that failure can be fixed without users noticing any discernible difference in performance,” Simon Pamplin, Brocade’s director of systems engineering, told Techworld.

A third of those surveyed said their organisation experiences multiple network failures each week and 41 per cent said that network downtime has caused their business to lose out financially, either through lost revenue or breached SLAs, or from a lack of customer confidence.

However, only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they use fabric-based networks and only 51 per cent said they are planning to roll out fabric networks in the next year.

The research also found that many companies are looking to deploy software-defined networks (SDN) between now and 2015 with the hope of increasing productivity, delivering better access to real-time information and improving availability/service delivery. However, Pamplin said that the underlying network must be able to support SDN.

“Look at it this way, if SDN is a top of the range sports car it will still perform badly if you use it on a road that is full of portholes, dead-ends, broken bridges, and unnecessary loops – the right network topology is still key,” added Pamplin.