Software-defined networking (SDN) is having trouble moving beyond the trial phase. According to a research note by IHS Markit analyst Cliff Grossner from the 2016 Data Center SDN Strategies Global Service Provider Survey, only 22 percent of service providers are in live production of data center SDN.
Meanwhile, 28 percent of service providers are in production trials and two-thirds are still only conducting lab trials of data center SDN — down from three-quarters in 2015.
The number of respondents that are either in production trials and live data center SDN deployment in 2016 was lower than expected based on the answers respondents gave last in 2015. Grossner expected that 89 percent of respondents would be in either lab or production trials of data center SDN and 60 percent would have live deployments by the end of 2016.
“Getting to live production is taking more time than expected,” Grossner writes. “This means that the most innovative-driven part of the market critical for new revenue — SDN controllers, data center orchestration and SDN applications — is still wide open.”
While market leaders in this area are becoming clearer, Grossner doesn’t expect this market to take off until data center SDN live deployments increase. When the respondents were asked whom they consider to be the top three data center SDN hardware and software vendors, Cisco was named by 72 percent and Juniper was named by 39 percent.
Cisco’s SDN products allow providers to deploy self-service portals and enterprises to adopt hybrid cloud architectures. Juniper is gaining traction in SDN with its contrail cloud and contrail networking system.
For the 2016 data center SDN survey, IHS Markit interviewed service providers that have deployed or plan to deploy or evaluate SDN by the end of 2018.