Tail-f Survey Reveals Both Interest and Confusion about Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
April 2, 2013
Rising importance of applications and services driving interest in SDN
STOCKHOLM, APRIL 2, 2013 – Tail-f Systems today announced the findings of its 2013 Software Defined Networking Survey, which shows nearly nine of ten organizations are at least discussing SDN. In fact, SDN was judged by more than 200 large companies in North America to be the single most important technology initiative, eclipsing cloud, virtualization and mobility. Despite the high interest, however, the survey reveals that most companies are still fairly confused as to exactly what SDN is.
“Large organizations are crying out for a simpler way to meet application and service SLAs,” says Hakan Millroth, CTO for Tail-f. “They are clearly captivated by SDN’s potential to improve network automation and simplify the process of provisioning and controlling applications and network services.”
Interest in SDN Is High
The survey showed that SDN is a hot topic within IT organizations. When presented with a list of five different IT initiatives, 87 percent of respondents chose SDN as important, surpassing virtualization, mobility and even cloud.
According to the survey, 9 out of 10 (89 percent) respondents are discussing SDN. The drivers mentioned by respondents focused on applications or services – primarily that they are increasingly important, there are more of them, and they are rolled out at a faster pace than ever before. Also on their minds was interest in automating the network, and the prevalence of virtualization.
Confusion about SDN Still Reigns
Given the high interest in SDN, organizations are still confused about what SDN is. In fact, most (92 percent) rate their understanding of SDN as pretty good or even complete; yet only about half (51 percent) chose a correct definition of SDN.
Aware of Multi-Vendor SDN
When asked what a multi-vendor SDN model was, two-thirds (68 percent) were familiar with this approach and 62 percent found it attractive for their network environments. In light of the fact that most large enterprise network environments contain multiple vendors’ devices and solutions, respondents are looking for solutions that can fit their network model easily without added infrastructure costs.
As organizations become more informed about SDN and begin to deploy it, Tail-f recommends that organizations:
- Focus on networking applications and services, not the actual network – by automating applications and services organizations will realize greater benefits when deploying SDN within their network environments.
- Use multi-vendor SDN for multi-vendor networks – match your SDN model to your network model. If you have a one vendor network, purchase your SDN solution from that same vendor. Multi-vendor networks require a solution designed to control both open standards-based equipment (e.g., OpenFlow) as well as proprietary equipment.
- Centralize what you can, distribute the rest – the key to SDN is centralizing control plane functionality. But not all control plane functionality is best served by such centralization.
- Insist on open standards – such as YANG, NETCONF and OpenFlow as key points within an SDN architecture. This will both extend and future-proof SDN investments.
Tail-f’s 2013 Software Defined Networking Survey
Tail-f’s 2013 Software Defined Networking Survey is a result of research conducted by ReRez in February–March 2013. The full study represents 237 organizations from the United States and Canada. Responses came from companies with more than 1,000 employees. All respondents are largely involved with designing, implementing or managing their organizations’ network infrastructures.
About Tail-f Systems:
Tail-f Systems is a leading provider of network service programmability solutions for traditional and Software-Defined Networks (SDN). Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Tail-f is a Red Herring Top 100 company, a Stratecast Global OSS/BSS 10 to Watch Company, and a Pipeline Network Innovations Award Finalist. www.tail-f.com.
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