While SDN and NFV hold incredible potential to change the face of networking and infrastructure, a recent SDNCentral poll reveals that even those on the cutting edge believe it will be a few more years before the technologies break through to the market at large.
More than half of respondents to our website poll said they believe it will be three to five years before SDN and NFV hit the mainstream. The poll asked simply, “When do you think SDN/NFV will reach mainstream adoption?” The responses broke down as follows:
- This year: 3%
- In 1-2 years: 26%
- In 3-5 years: 55%
- In roughly 10 years: 12%
- Never: 4%
The poll shows that SDN uptake has not been as rapid as the earliest proponents would have expected given the technology’s enormous promise. While the poll is not scientific, the results are particularly interesting given that the poll sample comes from the SDNCentral community, which presumably skews toward those who will be the earliest adopters of SDN and NFV.
The poll results support our earlier prediction that 2014 would be the year of the PoC (proof of concept), with significant production deployments at least another year out.
We believe the lag between interest and adoption exists because networking consists of inherently complex architectures with many interconnected elements, making SDN much harder to introduce than other types of innovation such as compute virtualization. Still, SDN and NFV provide such significant opex and even capex benefits that enterprises and service providers alike are pushing for adoption and will continue to do so.
This poll was the second in a series of surveys we will do around different aspects of the SDN and NFV market. If you have thoughts beyond the poll, we’d love to hear them — email us at email@example.com. We encourage you to help keep the dialogue going around issues you care about most.