While the benefits of Software Defined Networking (SDN) are well-articulated across the industry, neither the technology nor the customers are ready for a rip-and-replace treatment of existing infrastructure. Still, major vendors are continuing to release SDN solutions that are aimed at mainstream IT to solve problems around quality of service, rapid network provisioning and application performance in new and innovative ways.
This means that for technology vendors to retain relevance, they must develop and evolve a crisp strategy around SDN enablement, open solutions and moving to a software-centric approach. This goes well beyond simply developing virtualized network functions that can be deployed on a variety of hypervisor platforms and really has more to do with the DNA of the organization. Those that will maintain success are those who build the foundation of their core functionality and “magic” in software as opposed to a heavy reliance on proprietary silicon.
For technology consumers, they must first lose the antiquated attitude that IT is simply a necessary and evil expense and view it as an invaluable asset that has the capacity to help them drive their business forward and be more efficient at meeting customer needs. Once this truth has been accepted at a senior level, IT business leaders in enterprises should look to put together a plan to opportunistically investigate the use cases for SDN that make sense in their infrastructures and evaluate the available capabilities and solutions.
For more on how and why “Mainstream Organizations Should Prepare for SDN Now” read the following Gartner research based on over 2,500 client interactions and poll data from the 2013 Gartner Data Center conference here.