"Service providers expect SDN to deliver a positive return on investment," wrote Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., IHS' research director for data center, cloud and SDN. "Providers expect significant opex cost reductions within two years of deploying SDN. Capex reductions are also expected, and respondents acknowledge they need to invest in equipment and operational processes to get started with SDN. In supplying SDN to service providers, open source vendors have the largest opportunity with orchestration software and applications."
Other findings indicate:
- Service provider respondents named Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent/Nuage and VMware as top SDN vendors.
- Service providers that are scaling up their data centers - investing significant capex in physical servers and virtualization technology - are most likely to deploy SDN.
- Expectations for SDN are clear: simplified network provisioning, network automation, rapid application deployment and interoperability with existing equipment.
- The top data center SDN use cases among operators surveyed are a cloud architecture for the data center, automated application deployment and hybrid cloud.