Analyst Report: SDN meets the real world: implementation benefits and challenges


Software-defined networking (SDN) is an enabling technology shift that mimics for networking what server virtualization brought to data centers. From little more than a research project a decade or so ago, SDN has become one of the biggest trends in the data center, and for good reason. SDN allows organizations to deliver networking with the same level of flexibility and agility as virtualization has allowed them to deliver other parts of their infrastructure.

This report is aimed at both enterprise IT practitioners as well as data-center operators, and gives the audience some historical background, technical context, and specific issues to think about when in SDN.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • SDN is a trend of growing importance to anyone involved in data-center design, management, or utilization. Almost every technology vendor in the networking arena now has an “SDN story.”
  • SDN is a disruptor to traditional networking approaches. However, a hybrid approach towards SDN delivers real benefits for organizations with existing networking assets.
  • In this early stage, not surprisingly, SDN has some barriers to adoption. A hybrid approach that embraces smaller proof-of-concept trials while looking at broader deployment is the best way to approach the SDN opportunity.

Thumbnail image courtesy of loops7/Thinkstock.

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. SDN: what is it?
  3. SDN as a disruptor
  4. A drive for agility
  5. SDN in a hybrid world
  6. A bumpy road: constraints that impact upon SDN success
  7. The barriers to SDN adoption
  8. SDN security and compliance issues
  9. SDN user case study: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  10. Key takeaways
  11. About Ben Kepes
  12. About Gigaom Research

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