State of Application Delivery 2015: If SDN is the answer what was the question?

SDN is a still simmering trend. It's not boiling over like cloud did in its early years but rather it's slowly, steadily continuing to move forward as more organizations evaluate, pilot and implement pockets of SDN within their organization.

But it's not all rainbows and unicorns. A mere 8% of organizations in our State of Application Delivery 2015 reported having SDN deployed in production. Another 8% were in their initial implementation, but a whopping 43% had no plans to deploy at all.

That's not all that different from an Information Week 2013 survey on SDN in which 33% of respondents indicated no plans to test SDN technologies. In fact it appears that SDN is actually losing ground.

That may be because SDN has been, like every other emerging technology trend, hyped and washed and mutated until no one is really sure what it means. Is it about applications? Is about the network? Is it going to reduce my capital expenses or my operating expenses - or both?

Just what is the question that SDN is supposed to be answering??

An Avaya-sponsored survey recently dug into the question and asked just what, exactly, was problem it was that IT professionals expected SDN to resolve. The answers indicated a good cross-section of both network and application-related challenges. The answers to various questions pointed to a complex set of problems involving both provisioning and management of a wide set of problems across applications and networks.

This is at the heart of the SDN debate: what is SDN supposed to do for networks, for applications, and for the staff tasked with deploying and managing the delivery of both?

And what role does programmability - a key component of SDN since its initial inception - play in achieving success? 69% of respondents in our State of Application Delivery 2015 survey state that API-enabled infrastructure was important to very important. When we narrowed down our questions and asked about data path programmability, 100% of those who agreed SDN was strategically salient said it was important.

These are the types of questions we're (and that "we" includes me, personally) going to dive into, head first, at our fourth (and final) State of Application Delivery 2015 webinar. 

If you haven't signed up (or gotten the report) yet, you can do so here. You can also learn more about it (and other exciting application delivery related topics including security, cloud and DevOps) by following @f5networks.

Published Apr 28, 2015
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