SDN still a long way from the mainstream

There might be a lot of talk about software defined networking but Groundwork has found the majority of customers don't expect to adopt it for a couple of years

The hype has been going for a couple of years but it will be at least that long again before software defined networking becomes a more widely adopted technology.

Although vendors are happy talking about SDN, and in the cases of VMware, Openflow and Cisco have a viable solution, it has yet to be embraced by a large number of customers.

System monitor and management specialists GroundWork are readying themselves for extending its reach into the SDN world but carried out research to get a clearer picture of the current attitudes from customers towards the technology.

David Dennis, vice president of marketing and business development at GroundWork, said that he was surprised to find that 20% of customers claimed to be using SDN, as he thought it would have been slightly lower, but elsewhere the findings reinforced the feeling that it will be a couple of years at least before the technology is widely used.

Those customers that were not currently using the technology predicted that it would be at least two years before they rolled it out and there was a portion of the market that was convinced that it would never happen.

"This is potentially a big move and some customers have some issues until there are some agreement by vendors on levels of interoperability," he said.

He added that there was also a skill set issue and some users had chosen a particular path and did not have the  ability in-house to cope with integrating SDN and some channel partners were also struggling to come up with an approach to the market.

There are also challenges on the channel side with partners having to make a choice between opposing vendor flavours of SDN to ensure that they can really offer the in-depth solution selling that the customer is looking for.

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