Gartner Blog Network

7 Key SDN Questions

by Andrew Lerner  |  October 7, 2014  |  Submit a Comment

If you’re doing any “tire-kicking” on SDN, I would recommend you check out this recently-published research note by Joe Skorupa:  “Ask Your SDN Vendor Seven Key Questions Before You Buy“. My favorite questions are the first and last (spoiler alert).

First:  What customer references of a similar size and complexity can you provide?

Yes, it is early days for SDN, but there are references out there. It will take some persistence on your part to get them, trust me. Overall, we estimate there are still less than 1000 mainstream production implementations of SDN. However, that is 2 times what it was just a few quarters ago (but still less than the number of Frame Relay implementations).  That said, your vendor should be able to provide references – and it is a big red flag if they can’t…  And while this is sound advice for any purchase, it is especially important since there is much confusion in the market.

Last:  How do you get from this imperfect now to a perfect future state?

Implementation and deployment is so important. First things first, is the vendor’s channel up to speed (and/or will the vendor bring the “A” team)?  What about organizationally – am I staffed correctly? Is a forklift required? Here’s the link to the full research note…

Ask Your SDN Vendor Seven Key Questions Before You Buy | Joe Skorupa

Summary: Choosing the wrong software-defined networking vendor can lead to missed opportunities, high costs, complexities and lock-in. Network architects and infrastructure and operations VPs must get answers to these questions before they buy to ensure SDN deployments deliver the desired business benefits.

Regards, Andrew

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: just-published  networking  sdn  

Tags: sdn  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.