TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research, has published its latest Networking Reference Reports. Based on in-depth interviews with IT decision-makers at large North American enterprises, the reports detail current and planned usage and spending trends for key technologies; ratings on leading vendors; and trends on budgets, pain points, and top projects.

Highlights from the Networking Reference Reports include:

After a significant increase in networking budgets between 2010 and 2011 when 48 percent of respondents reported a budget increase we see some leveling off this year. Thirty-eight percent (38 percent) of respondents reported a budget increase, while 23 percent reported a budget decrease.

Core router and switch upgrades are the top project priorities this year, while general 'technology refresh' ranked third. Both of these findings are consistent with our identification of aging hardware as a main pain point in our previous Networking Reference Reports.

Wireless LAN implementations and expansions, unified communication solutions, and mobile device management rollouts top TheInfoPro's heat index, a weighted measure of the immediacy of user needs around each technology.

Cisco was identified as the 'most exciting' vendor in the study's Vendor Performance Report. Cisco and Juniper Networks received the most mentions as the vendor product or service for implementing network projects an unsurprising finding given their prominence in core routing and switching technologies.

"It's clear that network technology spending is still in catch-up mode as network managers continue addressing performance and capacity needs in the core network brought on by new business requirements and aging network equipment," said Daniel Kennedy, Research Director for Information Security and Networking. "Planned network projects, such as the continued rollout of wireless LANs, unified communication solutions, and mobile device management are a direct response to evolving business needs."

451 Research will host a Networking webinar on September 27, which will include discussion of the study's findings.

Webinar Details:

• Title: New Business Requirements and Aging Network Equipment: Pain Points, Spending Drivers, and Vendor Preferences

• Date: September 27, 2012

• Time: 1 pm EDT

• Presenters: Daniel Kennedy, Research Director, Information Security and Network Practices and Eric Hanselman, Research Director, Networks

• Registration: