& cplSiteName &

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
Ciena and ADVA separately show off the ability for their new data center interconnect gear to address a variety of distance needs.
The utility industry is keeping TDM alive, but maybe not for much longer.
Vendor CEOs make a lot of money, but we have a list of those who made more than most.
Growing security threats are set to drive critical infrastructure operators to new investment and upgrades of their internal networks.
Mike Birck guided Tellabs for more than 30 years over a span of five decades.
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.