Light Reading

SDN's Progress Is Worth Debating

Dan O'Shea
8/4/2014
50%
50%

Inconclusive survey results are always good fodder for a lively debate, and that's the case with the findings of an SDN Progress Report just issued by Juniper Networks.

Online interviews with 400 IT decision-makers in the US found that 52.5% of those surveyed have plans to adopt SDN, while the other 47.5% have no plans to adopt SDN. (See US Firms Split on SDN: Juniper Survey .)

The results are not split exactly down the middle: By a small margin, more companies said they are planning to deploy SDN. But the Negative Nancy in me is drawn more to what I feel is a pretty high percentage of companies that have no SDN plans at all.

As much as we all talk about SDN and its benefits, and have tried to address the possible hurdle to adoption, I imagined the number of companies with deployment plans versus those with none would be more like 60%/40% at the very least by now.

Yet, I realize the other argument here: "You’re a fool, Dan," some of you are thinking. "If there is something surprise here, it is how quickly SDN has come a very long way to become firmly entrenched is the minds and network blueprints of some many companies. If 52.5% of the market wants something, it absolutely justifies the moves of vendors that were quick to embrace SDN and invest in it."

"And also, Negative Nancy," you're probably still thinking, "if 47.5% of those surveyed do not have SDN adoption plans, it does not mean that they will never have SDN adoption plans. The number of those planning to adopt only will continue to increase."


Want to know more about SDN? Check out our dedicated SDN content channel here on Light Reading.


Your internal dialogue isn't necessarily wrong, but the survey results are also very clear about the ongoing challenges for SDN adoption, something we have debated in depth in recent months. (See 3 Barriers to SDN Adoption and SDN Faces a Human Hurdle .)

So how do you interpret these survey results? Are you a Negative Nancy, or a -- wait for it -- Positive Paulina? Do these survey results suggest SDN's progress is right about where it should be, or a little wanting?

Let us know on the comment board below.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/8/2014 | 7:20:18 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
TomNolle - "... the sum of the definitions equals or exceeds the total of all possibilities!"

Well said. It's kind of like what happened to organic food. 
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/8/2014 | 7:04:54 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
I'm not worried as much about multiplicity as I am when the sum of the definitions equals or exceeds the total of all possibilities!  If everything is SDN then nothing is.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/8/2014 | 6:46:42 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
Multiple definitions of SDN don't freak me out -- they're potentially useful. The Cisco approach is intriguing. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 3:16:12 PM
Re: Look at the question
I also think it's meaningful to ask folks how they plan to use SDN. As Jack Waters of Level 3 pointed out in the piece I wrote this week ( shameless promotion), there is a part of SDN that doesn't interest him at all right now, but another part in which he is definitely interested. 

Unless you know how the person answering the survey is definining "SDN" at the moment, it's hard to know what they are accepting or rejecting. 

This is another way of saying I think what both Tom and Dennis have said makes sense to me. 
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 2:02:34 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
Right on both counts, Mitch.  With SDN there's also the fact that the definition of what "SDN" is varies considerably, and covers nearly everything from current switches/routers with a new high-level API set (Cisco's approach) to a complete elimination of adaptive device discovery as the basis for route generation (the OpenFlow central purist model).  You could be committed to SDN, and even a user of it, under at least one definition!  So maybe those who say they are not are the ones making a mistake.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/6/2014 | 1:54:01 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
TomNolle - "The problem I've run into with this kind of survey is that fully a third of those who are surveyed will say "Yes" to any question about their planned use of a well-publicized technology. "

Good point. Nobody wants to admit to being behind on the latest hot technology. 

"I remember years ago a survey done by a major IT rag about GigE adoption; a third of users said they had it and there were no commercial products at the time."

I expect there are jobs ads out there right now looking for people with five or more years of NFV experience. 

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 12:41:24 PM
Look at the question
I don't have direct access to the actual survey that Juniper conducted, but the wording as presented in the press release suggests a very broad and generic question -- something like, "Does your company plan to adopt SDN?" There might be more insight here if respondents were asked for specifics about these plans. When we did this for a Heavy Reading survey on carrier SDN a few months ago, we got some good visibility into actual timing for SDN deployment. Our survey focused exclusively on network operators, as opposed to a generic "IT decision makers" group. And the likely deployment of SDN among carriers is much higher than 50%. We're getting set to do a follow-up survey in the next few weeks. Our clients are keenly interested to know where this is going.
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 10:33:41 AM
Re: I'm surprised....
A useful measure of how meaningful a survey can be is what I call "buyer literacy".  A buyer is literate if they understand the value proposition needed to induce a purchase and can establish whether a specific product offering can meet that value proposition.  Generally, my research has suggested that you need a buyer literacy rate of about 33% to have an effective natural market.  Right now, SDN is running about half that.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 10:24:35 AM
Re: I'm surprised....
You have a good point there. There are a lot of factors that can go into why people answer one way and not the other, as far as how they want to be perceived (or think their companies want to be perceived), or how they don't want to be perceived. I don't think this survey is definitive, but it is fun to discuss.
TomNolle
100%
0%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2014 | 3:26:04 PM
Re: I'm surprised....
The problem I've run into with this kind of survey is that fully a third of those who are surveyed will say "Yes" to any question about their planned use of a well-publicized technology.  I remember years ago a survey done by a major IT rag about GigE adoption; a third of users said they had it and there were no commercial products at the time.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from DOS Attack
Mike Birck guided Tellabs for more than 30 years over a span of five decades.
Pica8 and others keep pressing the argument for white box deployment.
Join Heavy reading's Sterling Perrin for an discussion on the future of data center interconnect.
Who's buying and who's selling as optical sector consolidation takes off?
Data center operator has been succeeding in second-tier markets away from the coastal big cities, but it's hungry for expansion.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Easing the Tech Pains for the Homeless
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?