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Gartner: The State of SDN – September 2017


Here we are in the Fall of 2017 and Software-defined networking (SDN) remains a widely used and misused term that means everything and nothing at the same time. In fact, most of the networking products today marketed as SDN do not quality as SDN (note: this is based on our definition which aligns with the ONF). There was (and still is) rampant “SDN-washing” as many vendors called anything new in networking SDN (side note:  today, this is kind of like how any on-prem data center is now called a private cloud, but I digress…). SDN is an architectural model for networking, not a reference design based on a well-defined set of protocols or standards, and there are many ways to implement it. Thus, SDN is not a product, or a market.

In reality, the original architectural approach behind SDN has achieved limited acceptance despite high-interest (we’ve received 1,700+ SDN-related inquiries since 2016). However we estimate, there are less than 2,000 deployed networks that meet the architectural requirements for SDN. Not surprisingly, it is pretty close to the trough of disillusionment in our 2017 Enterprise networking hype cycle. There are several reasons for this including:

  • the conservative nature of networking buyers
  • concerns of stability and scalability of SDN
  • technological immaturity of the standards
  • lack of immediate business drivers
  • difficulty in putting a value on agility and innovation to prove ROI
  • market power of incumbent vendors that had a vested interest in protecting their market position.

Read the entire article here, The State of SDN (September 2017)

via the fine folks at Gartner

Gartner Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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