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With more hospitality providers developing new innovations, whether through CRM tools, mobile apps, Wi-Fi networks and in-room iPads, new issues with bandwidth limitations are coming to fruition.

A new survey just completed by Emulex Corporation, finds that over half (54 percent) of all IT departments are being asked to scale their networks to support speeds of 100Gbps by 2016. The study’s findings make clear that IT departments, including CIOs and IT executives, are genuinely worried about how they are going to keep up with the demand for increased bandwidth in the upcoming years.

Survey participants called out four key factors driving the extraordinary demand for network bandwidth in the data center including server virtualization, cloud computing, big data and the convergence of storage and data networks.

Here are some interesting findings from the survey:

– 81 percent of survey participants said that the growing demand for network bandwidth is one of the most critical issues facing data centers today.

– More than half of respondents (52 percent) said that their need for network I/O increases by 60 percent or more annually.

– 85 percent of respondents said network I/O was a “significant” or “very significant” gating factor in limiting how many virtual machines they could run on a single physical server.

– 53 percent of respondents indicated that the advent of the cloud had driven the need for additional network bandwidth within their corporate data centers.

– Half of all respondents (54 percent) said that over the next two years, big data would increase their organization’s need for network bandwidth in the data center by more than 50 percent.

– 63 percent said that over the next two years big data applications would cause the amount of storage connected to data center networks to increase by at least 50 percent.

– 78 percent said they believed it was inevitable that data and storage networks would converge into a single, consolidated network.

Douglas Rice, Executive Vice President and CEO of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), recently issued a detailed white paper on the issue of bandwidth and hospitality.  One of the key points he highlighted was the need to consult with an experienced network design company or consultant before implementing any network upgrades, major bandwidth expansions or renovations.

When developing new innovations aimed at enhancing guest experience, bandwidth considerations should always come into play.  If you build out new technologies and don’t have the network capacity to support them, many of these innovations may never reach their full potential.