Enterprises Embrace SDN Like They Embraced Cloud: Deliberately

By Gary Kim August 04, 2014

More than half of 400 U.S. information technology executives in education, financial services, government and healthcare industries say they plan to adopt software defined networking, while the other half (48 percent) say they still have no plans to implement the technology.

Of the surveyed companies that have plans to adopt SDN, 74 percent say they plan to do so in within the next year, with 30 percent indicating they plan to make the move in just one month.

If those executives act as they say they will, SDN might be about as prevalent as hybrid cloud computing, with one key caveat. Few enterprises are likely to move their entire infrastructures to SDN right away. Instead, even those firms reporting they already have deployed SDN will mostly have done so on a limited basis.

Most private cloud deployments, for example, start small, with a limited scope of functionality. That is typical for all major shifts of computing architecture and technology base: no firms want to jeopardize current operations by too rapid a transition.

Nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, according to Gartner. But that is not the same thing as saying hybrid cloud represents the typical way computing is handled.

Instead, Gartner calls hybrid computing “a tentative reality for nearly half of large enterprises.” In other words, hybrid cloud computing “actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high,” Gartner says.

When it comes to drivers of private cloud computing, while cost is always an important consideration, a business case for private cloud cannot rely on lower costs as the primary justification.

"Virtualization reduces capital expenses, and standards and automation reduce operational expenses," said Thomas Bittman, Gartner VP.

SDN is not without its challenges. Cost is an issue for 50 percent of respondents.

Integration with existing systems is viewed as an issue by 35 percent of respondents.

Security is a concern for 34 percent, while lack of skills from existing employees is a concern for 28 percent of respondents.

Want to hear more benefits and opportunities that Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offer? Software Telco Congress, held August 12-14, 2014, at The Rio in Las Vegas.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Editor

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