Check out our latest SDx Analyst & Research report: 2018 Future of the Converged Data Center. Download PDF.
Check out our latest SDx Analyst & Research report: 2018 Future of the Converged Data Center. Download PDF.
Preview the current SDx Analyst and Research Reports below:
2018 Future of the Converged Data Center, January 2018
Software and hardware disaggregation is driving new product categories for next-generation data centers that include converged appliances, high-density servers, and software-defined storage and networking equipment. Among the hottest areas of hardware innovation are converged infrastructure platforms that integrate hyper- and rack-scale hardware with virtualized software stacks for compute and storage.
Converged infrastructure (CI) is typically a large, rack-scale platform that combines compute, storage and networking into a packaged, turnkey product while Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) usually refers to 1U or 2U (rack-unit) systems that consolidate one or more multi-core servers with a local storage array. The nodes are controlled by a centrally-managed HCI software stack that provides a hypervisor, software-defined storage and virtual networking that pools resources among all nodes in an HCI cluster. Often, these HCI clusters are connected via high-speed flexible networking fabrics to ensure performance. These all-in-one designs have several significant advantages compared to traditional servers: easier to purchase, faster to deploy and manage and potentially lower operating and capital costs.
Both CI and HCI help mitigate the inherent difficulty of scaling performance of monolithic designs. Infrastructure designers have learned that it’s much easier to scale capacity and performance using connected, yet distributed building blocks versus large, monolithic systems. Through their ease of deployment, CI and HCI systems can facilitate rapid growth in cloud environments, while supporting lower OpEx through unified and consistent management consoles. Likewise, the scalability and central manageability of CI and HCI platforms allows organizations to consolidate their data center footprint by aggregating applications onto fewer systems or a single logical pool by migrating applications from smaller data centers and computer rooms into a few large, more efficient facilities.
2017 Next-gen Software-defined (SDx) Infrastructure Assurance, December 2017
Network Performance Management (NPM) and Application Performance Management (APM) are critical elements in the deployment and maintenance of technology infrastructure platforms today. They’ve evolved from simple CPU, memory, storage and network packet monitoring in the late 1990s to sophisticated systems today, powered by Big Data analytics, sometimes with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI and ML) thrown into the mix to help sort through the firehose of data from today’s complex data center and networking infrastructure.
Regardless of the evolution of these NPM and APM solutions, most of them are still used to support similar use cases from the past, including troubleshooting and root cause analysis, capacity planning, service level agreement monitoring and management and overall resource reporting for end-users or billing purposes.
Nevertheless, today’s solutions have to contend with more complexity, as enterprises move their applications to cloud platforms (both on-premises and in the cloud), employ virtualization for compute, storage and networking, move to SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualization) architectures, and spin up and down containers in which they host microservices or different components of applications. NPM and APM solutions need to provide the means to monitor applications running on hybrid infrastructure. In some cases, these solutions will compete with, and sometimes integrate into, built-in monitoring and visibility tools provided by the IaaS and PaaS vendors. All this in the hopes of becoming that single pane of glass that end-users depend on to provide the necessary information to make infrastructure decisions.
2017 Open Source in Networking Report, November 2017
With the advent of SDN and NFV, open source in networking has risen to prominence. From SDN controllers, to virtual switches and routers, to network operating systems on white box switches, even to the orchestration and monitoring systems, open source now plays a major role. Open source has even spread to hardware platforms with the rise of the Open Compute Project (OCP). These rapid changes are pushing traditional proprietary networking vendors to find ways to continue to provide value to their customers while figuring out how to embrace open source themselves.
Open source in networking isn’t new, with open-source routing stacks like Quagga having been around for many years, network intrusion systems like Snort (released in 1998) gaining prominence more than 10 years ago and open-source BSD UNIX variants used as network operating systems by major networking vendors. However, SDN and NFV have pushed open source to the forefront and we are now faced with a burgeoning open-source ecosystem and new market dynamics that cloud service providers, communication service providers, enterprises, system integrators and technology vendors are all working hard at figuring out.
For all networking stakeholders, understanding best practices in open source, including how to work with prominent foundations like Linux Foundation, OpenStack Foundation, and Apache Foundation are now critical to business success. Likewise, understanding how to incorporate, contribute to, and benefit from open source projects has become a critical core competence for all organizations.
2017 SD-WAN and Virtual Edge Report, October 2017
Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) and universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) are critical elements in the transformation of the WAN marketplace. These last 12 months have seen the focus in the SD-WAN market shift from vCPEs and NFV in the service provider market to SD-WAN solutions in the enterprise.
Within enterprises, growing dependence on cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), increased demand for bandwidth at the edge, as well as security and compliance requirements have driven organizations to look for new solutions for their WANs. The traditional approache of proprietary integrated software-hardware appliances combined with one-off box-by-box configuration can no longer meet the needs of today’s enterprises.
SD-WANs, leveraging SDN (software-defined networking) principles, and sporting centralized cloud controls and a combination of WAN technologies (layer 3, layer 4-7) under one umbrella, fit the new enterprise requirements well. In addition to the cloud networking vendors who have rebranded themselves under the SD-WAN moniker, other SD-WAN vendors have come out of the woodwork. Many vendors have their roots in past WAN and even LAN solutions, ranging from router vendors, to firewall vendors, to WAN optimization vendors and even to wireless LAN providers. Each come to the table with strengths from their legacies as they invest in building new capabilities to become a comprehensive SD-WAN solution.
2017 SDx Infrastructure Security Report, September 2017
This marks SDxCentral’s 3rd Annual SDx Security Infrastructure Report, which provides a unique perspective on the major trends and activity taking place in the rapidly evolving software-defined everything (SDx) infrastructure security market. The Report is designed to provide visibility into some of the security challenges and opportunities emerging within the SDx infrastructure and insights into some of the biggest shifts and advancements being made by cybersecurity technologies and solutions on the market.
With the move from physical dedicated hardware to commodity platforms coupled with flexible software, the software-defined movement is gaining momentum. From virtualization in the data center and the rise of cloud architectures, to Network Functions Virtualization across the telecom fixed and mobile environment, business needs are pushing infrastructure architecture to be more agile. With that agility and flexibility come new security challenges: increased attack surface, new exploits, new vulnerabilities and the need for visibility.
As we transform each major area of our IT infrastructure, our need for new security approaches becomes critical to ensuring a reliable, safe and trusted environment on which our applications can execute and data can travel and reside. Our report will cover the new software-defined security (SDS) requirements across six critical areas of rapid innovation.
2017 Innovations in Edge Computing and MEC Report, August 2017
With the rise of 5G and IoT, and more importantly, the new applications often associated with them—augmented reality, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles—it has become clear to communications service providers (CSPs) worldwide that edge computing architectures will play an important role in ensuring successful roll-out of these new applications.
In recognition of the need to standardize an open environment at the edge, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) established an Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Mobile Edge Computing (also called Multi-Access Edge Computing) in December 2014. The ISG is working on terminology, architectures, use cases and requirements with the goal of seamless integration of third-party applications across multivendor platforms at the mobile edge. MEC is a natural evolution of mobile base stations and also represents the convergence of IT and telecommunications networking. MEC will enable new business offerings and services for both consumers and enterprise customers.
This report will take a look at the current state of MEC, the key use cases that are being discussed and prototyped today, early proof of concepts and pre-standard deployments that exist today.
2017 Network Virtualization Report: SDN Controllers, Cloud Networking and More, August 2017
Last year, SDxCentral combined our software-defined networking (SDN) Controller and Network Virtualization (NV) reports. We felt that the two technologies were complementary and had projected that these markets would converge over time. The maturation of the market over the last year has borne out our predictions: network virtualization has become the technology problem to be solved and SDN controllers are the primarily component of the NV platform.
Over the course of the last 12 months, network virtualization continued to make inroads across all areas of the enterprise, from data center to campus to the WAN, with campus uptake still somewhat lagging. In particular, SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) has ignited a huge wave of interest and has become one of the hottest topics on SDxCentral. We will provide more details around SD-WAN in our 2017 edition of our massively popular SD-WAN and Virtual Edge report later this year.
Within communications service providers (CSP), SDN controllers feature in NFV and telco cloud platforms, providing primarily network virtualization for NFV deployments (including service function chaining) and private clouds, but also provide CSPs with agile control of wide-area fabrics.
2017 Container and Cloud Orchestration Report, June 2017
Virtualization and cloud computing technologies have been with us the last 10+ years. It has, however, only been recently that cloud computing has captured significant market and mind share. And today, enterprises and service providers alike are scrambling to understand how to best leverage cloud technologies.
There continues to be a need for managing clouds, both privately in enterprise data centers but also across public clouds. Cloud Management Platforms like OpenStack and VMware vCloud suite continue their expansion, improving feature set capabilities, adding support for containers and providing better scaling, visibility and troubleshooting.
At the same time, Cloud Orchestration Platforms continue to develop to enable cross-cloud and cross-stack management, adding more maturity to their capabilities such as more sophisticated templates, policy-based scaling and advanced logic for workload placement. And with all these different clouds with different management APIs, standardization and interoperability becomes more important. Organizations such as the DMTF and Open Grid Forum have started efforts to crafting standards that allow cross-cloud integration and management API standardization but these are early days yet.
2017 NFV Report Series Part 3: Powering NFV – Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), May 2017
Communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide continue to invest in virtualization of their network infrastructure, laying the groundwork for 5G and IoT services. And to realize the dream of decoupling network services from proprietary hardware, and deploying networking components supported by a fully virtualized infrastructure, CSPs have been pushing vendors to disaggregate specialized networking equipment in favor of open architectures.
Across our three-part NFV report series, we’ve covered how vendors and CSPs alike have made significant investment across the board, ranging from industry-standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, to hypervisors and Virtualized Infrastructure Managers (VIMs), to Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and the management and orchestration (MANO) necessary to deploy these functions.
This final report in the NFV Report series covers the latest in NFV VNFs (virtual network functions), the workhorse of NFV. These are the actual network functions that provide the desired network services. VNFs benefit from the underlying NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) that host these services and provide the appropriate virtualization capabilities as well as NFV MANO that orchestrates and manages the VNFs and the NFV Infrastructure to roll out NFV services.
2017 NFV Report Series Part 2: Orchestrating NFV – MANO and Service Assurance, April 2017
To realize the dream of decoupling network services from proprietary hardware, deploying networking components supported by a fully virtualized infrastructure, vendors and communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide have invested significantly in the components that make up NFV. As we describe in more detail across our three-part NFV report series, significant investment has been made across the board from the industry-standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, to hypervisors and the Virtualized Infastructure Managers (VIMs), to Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and the management and orchestration (MANO) necessary to deploy these functions.
This report covers the latest in NFV MANO, the critical portion of the NFV platform that orchestrates and manages the VNFs and the NFVI to roll out NFV services. NFV MANO continues to evolve rapidly and in the last year, we’ve seen an explosion of open-source efforts in this space, including Open-O, OSM, OpenLSO, OpenBaton, Tacker and AT&T contributing their ECOMP solution into open-source. And most recently, we had the major announcement of Open-O and ECOMP (OpenECOMP) coming together and merging under the auspices of the ONAP project.
2017 NFV Report Series Part 1: Foundations of NFV: NFV Infrastructure and VIM, April 2017
Since some of the world’s leading service providers came together under the auspices of ETSI and launched the ETSI ISG for NFV in early 2013, the vendor and telco community has been working to develop the requirements and architecture for virtualized network functions, as well as design and ship early products that conform to the NFV framework.
To realize the dream of decoupling network services from proprietary hardware, thereby deploying networking components that could support a fully virtualized infrastructure, vendors and communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide have invested design and development into all the components that make up NFV. As we describe in more detail across our 3 report series, significant investment has been made across the board from the industry-standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, to hypervisors and the Virtualized Infastructure Managers (VIMs), to Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and the management and orchestration (MANO) necessary to deploy these functions.
This report covers the latest in NFVI and VIM development, the key foundations of any NFV deployment. NFVI continues to develop at a good clip, with diversity in platform across standard servers and blade servers to converged and hyperconverged architectures. Edge platforms are also developing quickly to meet the needs for edge and customer-premises computing, with varieties of vCPE deployment architectures.
2017 5G Special Report, March 2017
The fifth generation of mobile networks, more commonly known as 5G, has been far more di cult to de ne than have previous generations. Such 2G systems as GSM and CDMA were primarily about mobile voice services, while 3G rst introduced the world to mobile data. Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G then really opened the oodgates by enabling “true” mobile broadband services, which are now bene ting from advanced technologies, such as carrier aggregation, to boost speeds and capacity.
5G is the term used to describe the next generation of mobile networks beyond the 4G LTE networks of today. 5G is also regarded as more than just a shift to a new generation of mobile networks. Indeed, as Andy Sutton, principal network architect at UK-based mobile operator EE, once said: “If we get 5G right, there won’t be a 6G.” That’s because 5G is not only expected to bring faster mobile broadband services. It is also set to underpin new use cases and business models for consumers, businesses, and industry – not to mention the Internet of Things (IoT).
2017 5G eBook: Moving from Vision to Reality, March 2017
If you’ve been closely monitoring 5G you have probably watched it morph from the idea of a faster network with very low latency to an all-encompassing network that incorporates both fixed and mobile wireless, uses multiple spectrum bands (unlicensed and licensed), and can deliver mission-critical apps in real-time by prioritizing that data over less critical apps.
At the heart of 5G, however, is the virtualization of the network. Without software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) many of the scenarios used to describe 5G will not be possible.
In this early stage of 5G, it appears that the U S and Korea will be first in the deployment of 5G. Although the 5G standard is not expected to be complete until June 2018, Korea Telecom and Verizon are pushing ahead with pre-standard deployments. KT plans to have its network ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and Verizon has said it could have its 5G fixed deployment commercially available by late 2018. AT&T, meanwhile, has countered saying that it could have its standardized 5G mobile service ready by late 2018.
This ebook takes a look at many different aspects of 5G, from the deployment timeline to the role it will play in the Internet of Things (IoT).
2017 SDxCentral IoT Infrastructure Report, March 2017
Internet of Things (IoT) is past the hype stage. The Vodafone IoT Barometer (2016), paints a picture of IoT enthusiasm. The report, based on a wide-ranging survey of businesses of all sizes, found that more than three-quarters of respondents thought IoT would be “critical” to their future success. Over 60% said they would have live projects within the next year.
And according to another recent global study of businesses from Aruba (2), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019. The prospect of greater e ciencies and pro tability, plus stealing a march on competitors, are key drivers for IoT infrastructure.
As this report highlights, however, gaining maximum value from IoT will not be plain sailing. The possibility of sensitive IoT-generated data falling into the wrong hands will be a headache for many IT managers, while guring out how to maximize value from the data collected poses another awkward challenge.
The fragmented nature of the market is also a worry. According to some estimates, there are over 400 IoT platforms and 100 standards swishing around in the marketplace. Choice on this scale indicates a market still to shake out the wheat from the chaff.
Communication service providers (CSPs) also have their work cut out in staking a strong claim in the IoT space. The likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), General Electric (GE), Google, IBM and Microsoft will be formidable competitors.
2017 Next Gen Data Center Networking Report, February 2017
Business and application requirements have pushed web titans like FaceBook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon to innovative next gen data center designs that can meet the processing, networking and storage capacity required to serve millions to billions of users. At the networking layer, in addition to network link speeds increasing from 10Gbps to 40Gbps to 100Gbps, we are also seeing significant topology design changes. Large data centers are moving from traditional L2-based fat tree architectures with 3-tiers of access, aggregation and core layers into L3 ECMP-based multi-stage Clos networks that maximize link utilization and simplify application workload placement.
Along with that shift, SDxCentral research has observed that next gen data center networks focus more on software-centric controls (SDN). In addition, we’re seeing a shift towards disaggregation of networking devices (separating the constituent components), merchant silicon and white boxes in select verticals. Key success factors for building next gen data center networks include modularization and standardization of the fabric, ensuring support for virtualization and containers, adding programmability and automation as well as ensuring visibility to facilitate troubleshooting.
2017 Next-Gen OSS and the Rise of LSO Report, January 2017
In 2017 Next-Gen OSS (Operations Support Systems), LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) and NFV MANO (Network Functions Virtualization Management and Operations) have become the leading points of discussion in the SDN and NFV Market. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology represent key trends in telecommunications, driving towards a more agile, flexible network fabric and rich set of on-demand support network services that utilize that fabric.
The reality of SDN and NFV deployment is that they depend on a layer of orchestration and coordination that connects the ordering and business processes to how the network and associated services need to be configured to meet end-user and application demands. Historically, communications service providers (CSPs) built and used their Operations Support Systems (OSS) to perform these functions, but in the new world of cloud and agile networks, a new generation of OSS is evolving.
Inside the Linux Container Ecosystem, February 2016
Linux container technology: Everybody’s talking about it. Container has become one of those magic buzzwords that can conjure up billions of dollars in capital and create market-leading companies such as Docker, overnight.
But what are containers used for, exactly, and how do they apply to existing virtualization and networking markets? That is what we intend to define here in the first SDxCentral report on container infrastructure, which is sure to become an annual tradition. This includes the development of important niches of the container ecosystem, including container security, container networking, and Docker networking. Think of the container technology world as developing parallels to all of the existing tools in the networking market.
SDN & NFV Market Size and Forecast Report, May 2015
- 2016 Special Report: Network Performance Management Takes On Applications, June 2016
- Virtual Edge Expanding: The 2016 SD-WAN and vCPE Report, October 2016
- 2016 Cloud Automation and DevOps Report, November 2016
- 2016 Next-gen Infrastructure Security Report, May 2016
- 2016 Mega NFV Report Pt. 2: VNFs, April 2016
- 2016 Mega NFV Report Part I: MANO and NFVI, March 2016
- 2016 Future of Converged Data Center Report, March 2016
- Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Market Overview Report, January 2016
- Network Virtualization in the Data Center Report, November 2015
- Virtual Edge (vCPE / SD-WAN) Report, November 2015
- SDx OpenStack & Cloud Management Report, October 2015
- SDN Controllers Report, August 2015
- SDx Infrastructure Security Report, July 2015
- Network Functions Virtualization Report, April 2015
- 2014 Network Virtualization Report, November 2014
- 2013 Network Virtualization Report, October 2013
If you have any questions regarding previous report releases, please contact email@example.com.