Network architect perceptions of SDN, cloud, and the future of networking

1Executive Summary

Most commentators believe that significant changes in networking infrastructure will arrive in 2015 in the form of software-defined networking (SDN), but Gigaom Research’s recent survey of network architects, engineers, and managers shows that 20 percent are already using SDN, and that cloud adoption is running far ahead of most predictions.

Survey results revealed

In January 2014 Gigaom Research conducted a survey of network architects, engineers, and managers on their experiences with the cloud and SDN in today’s market. The results from more than 250 responses covering a survey audience of large companies with multiple data centers and extensive experience provide some startling insight into the reality of SDN.

In February 2014 Gigaom Research convened a panel of analysts to discuss the results and consider what they mean to the industry. This research report combines highlights from the survey results and the panel discussion.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • One fifth of the survey respondents are already using SDN.
  • Nearly half of the survey respondents are using some form of cloud services already.
  • Less than 10 percent of the companies are not planning any sort of private or public cloud capability.
  • The respondents indicated that operational improvements such as mobility and agility are more important to them than cost.

Next steps

Based on the results of the survey, companies should be considering three proactive steps:

  1. Initiate an education and research program to bring knowledge into the organization.
  2. Define an automation strategy to promote internal co-operation and capability.
  3. Conduct a cost and benefit review of public and private clouds to understand the business value of these new technologies.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wavebreakmedia LTD/Thinkstock.

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