As the industry works to determine what, exactly, SDN is to look like and how it is to operate, we can move from a focus on nuts and bolts to a study of operational impact. SDN has been tough to bring to market for vendors, in that SDN isn’t something many customers feel they need to buy. That is to say, SDN in and of itself is not a selling point. Rather, SDN is a catalyst for operational efficiency and new network capabilities.
SDN has largely been a set of tools that, while interesting, aren’t easily taken advantage of by the average network practitioner. A controller consolidation implies a generally agreed upon SDN architecture that will allow complete and (dare we say) mature SDN products to come to market from vendors. When that happens, we’ll see broader SDN adoption.
Don’t get us wrong. There are still arguments to be had, positions taken, and proposals won and lost as vendors and end users work together to create an SDN that makes sense for the long haul. But early fruit is already appearing, and the next 12 months are filled with the promise of progress.
Ethan Banks has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction.
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