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
    FakeMitchWagner
    50%
    50%
    FakeMitchWagner,
    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. 
    FakeMitchWagner
    50%
    50%
    FakeMitchWagner,
    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.
    FakeMitchWagner
    50%
    50%
    FakeMitchWagner,
    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
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

    9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


    More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

    8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


    Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

    8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


    Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

    8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


    SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

    8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


    Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

    8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


    Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

    8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


    At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX – Live from the Show

    8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


    An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

    8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


    Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

    8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


    Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
    LRTV Custom TV
    A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

    7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


    Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Sprint's Network Evolution

    7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


    Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
    Upcoming Live Events!!
    September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
    September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
    September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
    October 29, 2014, New York City
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
    Today's Cartoon
    Hot Topics
    Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
    Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
    Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
    Music to My Mobile
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
    Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
    Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed