As IP traffic continues to rocket and the peaks during the busy hour get even spikier, there is a growing need for automation in managing network services, says Paul Vian.

According to the most recent Cisco Visual Networking Index, global IP traffic has increased more than fivefold in the past five years and will increase threefold over the next five years. Moreover, traffic during the “busy hour,” or the busiest 60 minute period in a day, is growing 20% faster than that. While cloud services and mobile devices are enabling dynamic new IT environments for businesses, the networks connecting them are emerging as critical pain points in service delivery and user experience.

At the macro level, if the Netflix peering disputes with Comcast and Verizon demonstrate anything, it’s that even if you have a very fast broadband connection to the internet, there are no guarantees you will automatically get a better user experience.

The same holds true for businesses that increasingly rely on the internet, from online gaming companies, e-commerce and big data analytics to mobile and digital advertising platforms and exchanges. Latency, jitter, packet loss and congestion all lead to poor internet performance that has a negative impact on business. E-commerce provides a very tangible example: Summit, the online marketing and e-commerce specialist for retail, recently estimated that a retailer with £10m in annual online sales could lose up to £1m in revenue each year due to consumer impatience with slow-loading web pages.

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