We ran an SDN session at last week’s Gartner IOM conference in Orlando, and asked the audience “Where are you with respect to SDN?“. I combined the results with similar previous sessions and the results are below (n=113).
Not surprisingly, there is still mostly just tire-kicking of SDN in the mainstream, with very limited adoption outside of hyperscale and service provider organizations. Based on the past several months of interactions with Gartner clients, here are several observations.
- The hyperscale guys are doing SDN, while the Telcos/Service Providers are starting to get into it (piloting and limited production).
- In addition to hyperscales and SPs, the “forward leans” (early adopters of technology like Universities and High-Tech organizations) are also getting into it, in a similar fashion to the Telcos/Service Providers (pilots and trial implementations).
- There is still a lot of skepticism around SDN from mainstream enterprise, particularly from networking folks who have heavily influence on networking decisions and budget. The questions are along the lines of Why do I need this, what does it really do for me? and My vendors tell me this solves world hunger but we’ve heard that story before with Wan Optimization and fabrics …
- However, the non-networking folks from these same mainstream organizations think SDN (and the programmability/agility it promises) is long overdue. These folks ask: “Why does it take so long to get network changes made?”.
Over the next year we should see a lot more lab testing, pilots and some limited production deployments in the mainstream, as the thinkers move to tinkerers, who are being nudged along due to a) availability of product and b) increased marketing from the likes of VMware and Cisco. And we have some statistics on that as well…
- At the same IOM session, we asked “When do you plan to deploy SDN in production?” and 19% answered within 1 year and another 9% within 2 years. So nearly a third (28%) plan to do something with respect to SDN in the next two years. Side note: Hopefully not the same 27% who answered “What is SDN?“
- Based on a separate data center facilities research survey (n=513), “network virtualization” (which is a decent proxy for SDN) is the #4 planned technology investment in 2014, with 25% of respondents citing it as a top 3 initiative.
For those organizations moving towards SDN, we have a good amount of published research in the SDN space. If you’re wondering What is SDN? check out:
- Ending the Confusion About Software-Defined Networking: A Taxonomy, http://www.gartner.com/resId=2367616
If you’re one of those merely Thinking about SDN, check out:
- Mainstream Organizations Should Prepare for SDN Now, http://www.gartner.com/docshare?resId=2685029
- Improving Data Center Agility With Network Virtualization, http://www.gartner.com/docshare?resId=2713317
And if you’re currently Evaluating in Non-Production, check out:
- Four Key Questions to Ask Your Data Center Networking Vendor, http://www.gartner.com/document/2661318
- Three Key Challenges to Resolve Before Deploying an SDN Overlay, http://www.gartner.com/document/2747217
- Cisco’s ACI Delivers Tactical Benefits but Lacks Strategic Value of SDN, http://www.gartner.com/document/2620018
- VMware’s NSX Could Be a Small Step or Giant Leap for SDN, http://www.gartner.com/document/2580215
Lastly, if you have deployed in production, we want to know!
Read Complimentary Relevant Research
Predicts 2017: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is changing the way in which organizations innovate and communicate their processes, products and services. Practical...
View Relevant Webinars
The IoT In Manufacturing Operations: Where Are We Now?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm shift for manufacturing operations. Its fanfare creates uncertainty in state-of-the-art technology...
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.