We recently commissioned a survey of network professionals and asked them about their adoption levels of SDN in their companies. These questions included both technical, functional and organizational aspects across network ops and engineering teams. The research paper is now final and available here.
Software Defined Networks in this context was comprehensive, covering both device-hosted and virtual host-based software fabrics. This also includes core, access, and edge networks.
Key insights from the study:
- SDNs are moving from concept and POCs to production deployment with 57 percent of respondents saying they are taking that step by the end of 2017.
- While more than 50 percent are deploying the top two vendors: Cisco and VMware, SDNs continue the multi-vendor trend set by traditional networks. The survey identified experience with 17 SDN vendors. This signals that nearly in the near-term, network environments will continue to be a mix of traditional and SDN products.
- SDN controllers (the “brains” of SDN fabric) alone won’t deliver the expected value sought when originally deciding to adopt SDN. Top of this list were network security, performance/traffic, and diagnostics. These are often the same as what is sighted for traditional networks.
- A unified management approach of the complete network, regardless of deployed technology was a top overall desire. This is likely being fuelled by the need to control budgets by utilizing existing staff and consolidating tools. Over 90 percent of respondents indicated they desired a comprehensive management toolset.
- SDN adoption also effects organizational changes, as over 4 out of 5 said it is influencing the consolidation of operations and engineering teams into a single unit.
- Finally, a deep understanding of SDN controllers’ lack of capabilities increases as staff learns along the journey from tire-kicking to production deployment. The indication here is that SDN potentially be oversold as a panacea to network management. But in reality, its value is largely limited to its ability for fast re-configuration to respond to changing business needs.
Also, learn more about the workings of SDN from this related blog by Jim Perkins, Technical Marketing Manager for Micro Focus Network Operations Management.
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