Enterprises are beginning to see the many benefits of SDN

Enterprises are beginning to see the many benefits of SDN
June 19, 2018  |  BY

In the world of telecommunications, you tend to see a lot of predictions. Some never match expectations, while others eventually live up to the hype. The latter is the case for Software-Defined Networking (SDN). Many companies are beginning to see the value of this networking architecture technology.

For those of you not completely familiar, SDN facilitates network management and enables programmatically efficient network configuration in order to improve network performance and monitoring. SDN addresses the fact that the static architecture of traditional networks is decentralized and complex while current networks require more flexibility and easy troubleshooting. SDN centralizes network intelligence in one network component by disassociating the forwarding process of network packets (Data Plane) from the routing process (Control plane).

In a survey of companies conducted by Longitude, a global research firm, 15% of the respondents were piloting or using software-defined technologies. Even more exciting for the SDN enthusiast, between 2018-2020, the amount of companies that will start SDN projects will grow to 57%; of that number, 12% are expecting to deploy SDN across their entire network over a similar time period.

The numbers get even more promising: According to the survey, 86% agreed or strongly agreed that SDN could deliver quicker deployment of new applications and infrastructure. That same percentage of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that SDN will help with innovation, especially as it relates to how they create new applications, services, and business models.

What are the practical implications behind these numbers? For one, the companies that are still sitting on the SDN fence may fall behind early adopters, who are offering clients more business agility. The fact that SDN is growing shows how disruption, globalization, and increased customer demand are the key forces in shaping business models and legacy network technologies. Another key finding: While many have capitalized on SDN’s ability to improve security and grow product demand, SDN could transform networks and drive exponential growth.

The study supports that idea: 49% of respondents believe SDN is fundamental for scaling their network functionality. 44% think SDN will help them be more responsive and competitive, and will allow them to deploy services more quickly. 

The benefits of SDN only grow the more you look into the technology. The survey also showed that SDN can provide increased network security (56%), improved application performance (50%), and better network resilience (48%).

As with any technological prediction, the best approach is to take a cautious, wait-and-see attitude. With SDN, it appears the waiting was well worth it.