A survey by ConSentry Networks and Loudhouse Research found that multi-dimensional growth, or ‘LAN sprawl', places so many new demands on the network that improvements are seen as inevitable.
The survey revealed that improvements to the level of LAN control included: the need for improved control over security (72 per cent), access to specific areas/job functions (68 per cent), access to specific applications (65 per cent), general user access (64 per cent) and ad-hoc network access (63 per cent).
Ninety three per cent of respondents also claimed that they are now more likely to require access to different parts of the network at different times for business reasons. Ninety two per cent of respondents see an increase in the need to manage users with multiple profiles/IDs to support cross functional needs of their organisation.
Michelle McLean, head of product marketing at ConSentry, claimed that IT organisations are exploiting the growth in many areas at once and even if you do not expand you can still experience LAN sprawl.
McLean said: “It is a lot less static, you need the context of what is happening to control what is going on. Ninety one per cent of users have multiple IDs and user profiles, while single users have multiple roles, while three quarters of users have their own applications. Managing an ad-hoc gap is the most interesting detail.”
ConSentry chairman and CTO Jeff Prince claimed that one of the challenges comes from the fact that networking devices have not changed in 15 years.
“LAN is no longer the sole proxy for the user, they need to know the application at layer seven and know it can determine and be better instructed to do an anonymous detection,” said Prince.
“We're not expecting people to rip out their switches and start afresh, people are doing their own upgrades and add VoIP, when they are going through the process they can now take more than 20 years of technology and add the ability with an existing switch.”