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SDN is mainly still being tested, says survey

In the data centre, lab trials for software-defined networking (SDN) are still dominant over production trials and live deployments, says Cliff Grossner, senior research director and advisor, cloud and data centre research practice, IHS Markit

Service provider bare metal switching deployments have stalled, but more bare metal switches are in-use for SDN, even as Cisco and Juniper were named as the SDN vendors by respondent service providers, he says. The number of respondents in production trials and live deployment in 2016 continued to be lower than expected by those taking part in the prior year’s study.

Getting to live production is taking more time than expected. This means that the most innovation-driven part of the market critical for new revenue—SDN controllers, data centre orchestration and SDN applications—is still wide open. Although the leaders in the SDN service provider data centre market are becoming clearer, especially for physical network equipment, we do not expect the market to solidify until live deployments ramp.

By 2018, bare metal Ethernet switch ports in the data centre are expected to reach 41% among operators surveyed.