SDN will take off slowly - report

Big legacy switch vendors are the gatekeepers

9 January 2015 by Bill Boyle - DatacenterDynamics

SDN will take off slowly - report
Thinkstock / alphaspirit

The eventual victory of software defined networking (SDN) is inevitable, but it will take off much more slowly in 2015 than some industry pundits have been predicting, according to a new research report.

Only a small minority (12 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) are planning to evaluate an SDN networking solution in 2015, according to Piper Jaffray’s CIO Survey, which surveyed the attitudes of interviewed 112 CIOs mainly in North America. Around a third (34 percent) are still evaluating the technology and 54 percent said  they had no intention of doing anything about it this year.

Slowly but surely
The report’s authors assert that software defined networking (SDN) is a long term winner, which will likely change the traditional IT hardware landscape as we know it, but they suggest adoption and deployment will be far more sluggish than expected.

The reasons for this are subjective, but focus on the role of incumbent hardware vendors, and the difficulty of getting real results from the trials of the technology so far.

Cisco currently dominates switching market and is presenting a consistent marketing message that actual cost savings remain in question. Along with the other giant Juniper, however, Cisco is endorsing and taking an active approach to SDN.

This leads Piper Jaffray to conclude that the technology is real and here to stay - and it also represents a sizeable risk to traditional high margin enterprise hardware business models.

However, at this stage SDN is still in its infancy, and there are few deployments on which to base a concrete opinion. The report says that it is too early to speculate on the actual impact, uptake rate, and most importantly the winners and losers of this major market transition.


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