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Survey Shows Increasing Role for SDN

A new survey from Pluribus Networks shows an increasing role in the datacenter for software-defined networking (SDN), cited by respondents as one of the more impactful technologies that will affect their companies.

Pluribus, which provides an SDN fabric called Virtualization-Centric Fabric (VCF) for use on its Netvisor OS for open switches, yesterday published the results from a survey undertaken to explore "the critical importance of building private clouds as a precursor to effectively utilizing public cloud services."

In that area, SDN plays a key role, judging from the survey report.

"When it comes to the technologies that IT professionals think will most impact their company over the next three years, public clouds and private clouds (software-defined infrastructure) are the clear leaders (each 43 percent)," Pluribus said in announcing the study. "Virtual desktop infrastructure (41 percent) and converged infrastructure (30 percent) trailed behind."

SDN was also identified as one of many up-and-coming technologies being adopted by organizations.

"When looking at the top nine new technologies in the IT space (server virtualization, cloud services, containers, software-defined networking, mobile/tablet computing, converged infrastructure, virtual desktop infrastructure, and Big Data and Hadoop), in practically every one, more than 50 percent of IT professionals said that they are either deploying the new technology or actively researching it," Pluribus said. "This means the majority of organizations are considering, piloting or deploying a wide range of the newest IT technologies."

Pluribus Survey Infographic
[Click on image for larger view.] Pluribus Survey Infographic (source: Pluribus Networks).

Pluribus said 42 percent of those surveyed reported they're adopting SDN to meet modern application challenges, which places it ahead of other solutions such as converged infrastructure (38 percent), Big Data (32 percent) and containers (30 percent).

Furthermore, the top three benefits of SDN were reported as better visibility and monitoring (cited by 49 percent of respondents), automation (45 percent) and simplified management (37 percent).

Other survey highlights include:

  • 82 percent of IT workers consider the network to be an essential part of their job.
  • 88 percent believe that the network itself is a key consideration in delivering compute and storage in a digital-centric world.
  • Only 14 percent of respondents "strongly agreed" that their IT department was currently set up to meet the needs of the business, showing that there is a lot of uncertainty around what technologies will affect the future of IT.
  • Three times as many respondents claim that the network is a strategic investment, as opposed to a tactical one. While the network is clearly important to individuals, many feel it is more of a long-term investment, rather than a tactical need for today.
  • 93 percent believe digital transformation will result in increased staffing requirements.

"It turns out most IT organizations are looking for the roadmap to begin their digital transformation journey, and the discussion about wide-scale adoption of public cloud versus building a private cloud in-house becomes a major part of their investigation," said exec Mark Harris. "As their research progresses, they realize that each of these cloud approaches share one thing in common: they each offer the means to bring new business services online quickly and cost-effectively. They also realize that the hybrid mix of private and public cloud is a function of existing capacity and future needs. It is a pure business planning process."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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