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Paessler AG 2016 Predictions: SDN is still a long way off for most

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Dirk Paessler, CEO, Paessler AG

SDN is still a long way off for most

For years now there has been a large hype cycle around Software-defined Networking (SDN). And, it has not all been hype - there are plenty of reasons why SDN is a leading topic of conversation. Networks are in fact becoming more complex, and the explosion of virtualization, data, cloud and mobile have all dramatically increased network traffic, which poses a significant challenge. The proposal that SDN can address these issues is appealing, but it is my feeling that in 2016, SDN will continue to be more talk than action.

Only the largest, most well-funded and staffed enterprises are actually in the implementation stage when it comes to SDN, and even they often need to bring in outside consultants to get the job done. While the promise of SDN is certainly there, the idea that the transition would be an easy one is far-fetched. Implementing SDN requires a complete rearchitecting of the IT infrastructure. Additionally, it requires new training, hardware updates, and significant costs.

Projects of this size and scope interfere with regular business functions for months, and while IT may see the gains, they won't be immediately felt by many business departments. And while industry analysts have predicted that SDN penetration will increase in 2016, from the perspective of our customers, small and medium-sized businesses up to small enterprises, SDN is a long way off. This will not stop people from asking questions about SDN, but our advice is generally consistent - SDN might be great for the future, but for most, the future isn't now.

In the same way that other IT trends have been absorbed over the years, we believe SDN will be. Years from now, IT leaders at smaller companies will begin to think seriously about SDN and how to implement it. By that time, the cost-benefit analysis will likely make more sense than it does today. But for 2016, SDN enthusiasts will still have to wait.

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About the Author 

Dirk Paessler is CEO of Paessler AG, makers of PRTG Network Monitor.

Published Monday, November 23, 2015 6:26 AM by David Marshall
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