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SDN and network virtualization: A reality check

Jim Metzler | Sept. 10, 2014
The Software Defined Networking movement is still evolving, but profiles of SDN users are becoming more clear and we're getting a bead on some of the common evaluation criteria companies are using to gauge how to go forward. We also have a sense of when companies expect to start the process in earnest.

Because of these factors, my best guess is that the percentage of IT organizations that will actually conduct a POC in the next 12 months is around 10%. Of course, those companies that successfully conduct a POC will then move to a limited trial before they implement SDN in a production network.

I followed up the question about POCs by asking attendees a series of questions about the likelihood that their organization will have implemented SDN sometime in the next three years, either in their data center LANs, their WANs or their campus networks. I was impressed by the fact that almost all of the attendees believe that within three years they will have implemented SDN in their data center LANs. Roughly half of the attendees believe that within three years they will either have implemented SDN in their WAN or they will be using a WAN service that leverages SDN, and approximately a third believe they will have implemented SDN in their campus networks. 

Since overlay based network virtualization solutions are easier to implement than the other two classes of SDN solutions because they are independent of the underlying physical network, I believe this class of SDN solution will likely cross the chasm in 2016.  I believe the other two classes of SDN solution will likely cross late in 2016 or sometime in 2017.  

 

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