Light Reading
SDN is gaining popularity fast, but there's also a lot of skepticism about its potential among network engineers and managers, according to a Network Instruments study.

You Either Love SDN, or You Really Don't

Mitch Wagner
5/12/2014
50%
50%

SDN is gaining popularity fast, but not everyone has fallen for the new networking nirvana.

SDN, video, and VoIP are surprisingly popular among enterprise IT folks, says Brad Reinboldt, product marketing manager for Network Instruments LLC . (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Network Instruments surveyed 241 IT executives in Global 2000 companies worldwide. Of these, some 22% expect to deploy SDN by the end of 2014, and about a third by the end of next year. "The first time SDN really came into play was late 2009. In four short years, the technology went from being essentially no place to 22% of enterprises. That's an extreme rapidity of deployment," Reinboldt says.

The reason for deploying was also surprising. "Typically, new technologies are driven by cost reductions and ROI improvements," Reinboldt says. Those factors are important for SDN, but enterprises are also interested in the agility that SDN can bring. SDN enables cloud deployment and allows enterprises to host resources anywhere in the world. "SDN is serving as an enabler. It's the thing that will allow IT and business to move to the next plane," Reinboldt says.

On the other hand, much confusion still surrounds SDN. "People are still trying to figure it out," Reinboldt says. Some 37% of survey respondents said SDN is "undefined, like a road trip without a map." (See The Three Faces of SDN.)

And most enterprises are skeptical of SDN. More than half of network engineers, 53%, say they'll "ride out the hype" before deploying SDN. And nearly half of management, 47%, say they have no plans to deploy SDN.

Indeed, Network Instruments' own press release about the study emphasizes the uncertainty and skepticism over the adoption. Network Instruments is confused about SDN, just like everybody else.

In other survey findings:

  • Video and VoIP are gaining traction despite obstacles. "Enterprises are overcoming bandwidth demands and using videoconferencing," Reinboldt says.

  • Videoconferencing is seeing a 63% adoption rate, while unified communications is just over 70%, according to the study.

  • Network bandwidth is increasing: Fourteen percent of survey respondents have deployed 40G networks, while 9% have already upgraded to 100G.

    For more findings from Network Instruments study, check out this infographic: SDN: Turn On or Turn Off?

    — Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


    Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


    (8)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Mitch Wagner
    50%
    50%
    Mitch Wagner,
    User Rank: Lightning
    5/12/2014 | 6:03:23 PM
    Re: Riding out the hype...
    The Gartner hype cycle? I'd say we're climbing toward the Peak of Inflated Expectations. We'll hit it late this year or early next. The expectations haven't yet gotten crazy enough to indicate we're near peak. 

    The Trough of Disillusionment comes next. That's a particularly sad place because so often the zealots can't tell the difference between the Trough of Disillusionment and the realization that the emperor has no clothes. 
    Mitch Wagner
    50%
    50%
    Mitch Wagner,
    User Rank: Lightning
    5/12/2014 | 5:58:03 PM
    Re: Not terribly surprising
    @mbushong - "People need to get past thinkin of SDN as the thing and more about it as the how. Deploying SDN is interesting but does nothing for the business by itself. Deploying SDN in support of a specific use case? Very different. But then SDN takes the supporting role, not the leading one."

    That's true of emerging technology in general, isn't it? Business need to avoid thinking of how they can use a particular technology and instead focus on what's the appropriate technology to solve business problems. 
    Joe Stanganelli
    50%
    50%
    Joe Stanganelli,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/12/2014 | 5:05:09 PM
    Re: Riding out the hype...
    All "overhyped" and "underhyped" refer to is how many articles the author has seen about the subject.
    Joe Stanganelli
    50%
    50%
    Joe Stanganelli,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/12/2014 | 5:04:02 PM
    Re: HLS
    @Mitch: Maybe, but they're vulnerable to phishing attacks.
    Mitch Wagner
    50%
    50%
    Mitch Wagner,
    User Rank: Lightning
    5/12/2014 | 5:01:34 PM
    Re: HLS
    I wonder if phablets improve pharmagility. 
    DOShea
    50%
    50%
    DOShea,
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/12/2014 | 1:26:48 PM
    Riding out the hype...
    Speaking of which, exactly where are we in the SDN hype cycle? Just eight months ago, there was talk of it being "under-hyped"... http://www.lightreading.com/carrier-sdn/sdn-architectures/dont-believe-the-sdn-under-hype/a/d-id/705975
    @mbushong
    100%
    0%
    @mbushong,
    User Rank: Moderator
    5/12/2014 | 10:07:20 AM
    Not terribly surprising
    People need to get past thinkin of SDN as the thing and more about it as the how. Deploying SDN is interesting but does nothing for the business by itself. Deploying SDN in support of a specific use case? Very different. But then SDN takes the supporting role, not the leading one.

    The reality is that the SDN use case has been made largely on overarching statements of either OpEx savings or dynamic control. With the former, until these models are better articulated and customer environments better instrumented, there will continue to be skepticism. On the latter, not everyone needs control. Control matters where you have a scale or rate of change that needs to be addressed.

    When vendors shift from general SDN talk to very specific use cases, we will see adoption in broader numbers. But even then, what is being done ought to trump how it is being done.

    Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

    Plexxi
    Joe Stanganelli
    50%
    50%
    Joe Stanganelli,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/12/2014 | 8:56:29 AM
    HLS
    It does seem to be gaining traction in the health and life sciences industry -- a sector that has HUGE data and bandwidth demands (particularly in genomics) -- based on what I saw at the Bio-IT World Conference in Boston a couple of weeks ago.


    Incidentally, here's a portmanteau I was mercilessly subjected to at a presentation at that conference: "pharmagility."
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


    At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


    David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

    10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


    Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

    10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


    Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


    At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Broadband Battles

    10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


    This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
    Jonestown
    Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

    10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


    Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

    10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


    SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

    10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


    Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

    10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


    Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

    10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


    Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

    10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


    In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
    Hot Topics
    Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
    FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
    Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
    China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
    Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
    Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
    Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed