In part 8 of my SDN series, I covered the need for comprehensive, deep, network visibility for successful SDN deployment. This is all well and good, but what about timing? Is SDN mature enough for most companies to benefit from it?
Aside from a few hyper-scale SDN deployments and service providers, few organizations are aggressively deploying SDN and reaping the potential benefits. In Google’s case significantly improved WAN utilization relates to a tangible business benefit (reduced WAN cost), but for most enterprises and SMBs there isn’t yet a compelling business case and clearly comes with significant reorganizational and training costs as well as CAPEX. Couple this with the potential for business disruption as the existing network infrastructure is migrated to a hybrid SDN and it’s obvious why organizations are being cautious.
Given the lack of familiarity with SDN technologies and their deployment, the immaturity of SDN technologies and tools (especially for SDN orchestration), the lack of monitoring ability and the rapid evolution of all of these, it’s unsurprising that most organizations, whilst interested in SDN and experimenting with SDN in their test labs, are not yet rolling out to production.
In part 10, I’ll wrap up by reflecting on the key question that this series poses: Should an organization embrace SDN now, soon, or hold off for now?