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OpenDaylight Project finds industry wants open-source SDN

20/03/2014 by


The Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Project conducted a third-party survey that found 95 percent of networking pros want open-source software-defined networking technologies.

It’s not too surprising that members of the Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Project believe that the networking industry thinks open source is the future for software-defined networking (SDN). After all, OpenDaylight is an industry consortium of technology powers, such as Brocade, Cisco, and Microsoft, devoted to open-sourcing SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The Project’s survey was conducted by a third party, Gigaom Research, which found no less than 95 percent of networking professionals want open-source SDN.

I believe those numbers. It’s not just the OpenDaylight Project that’s pounding the drum for SDN.Juniper is also playing the open-source SDN beat with its OpenContrail project. In short, open-source SDN really is that popular with the networking movers and shakers.

The survey, SDN, NFV, and Open Source: The Operator’s View, checked in with 600 IT decision makers and technologists in medium to large organizations within enterprise (300) and service-provider (300) organizations in North America. Its key findings include:

Networking experts show a strong bias for open source. 95 percent want open source in their SDN and NFV solutions. It represents greater choice, more functionality and interoperability, and lower costs. Open-source SDN also for vendors it represents an opportunity rather than a threat, as 76 percent of respondents prefer to consume open source through commercial suppliers.

Networking professionals want SDN to solve a multitude of challenges. The top four concerns are security (72 percent), network utilization (64 percent), network deployment and management (62 percent), and network operating expense (61 percent). They think open source can deliver benefits of SDN faster by overcoming traditional barriers of adoption for emerging technology like migration and interoperability.

SDN deployment time lines are aggressive. Over 50 percent of respondents intend to deploy SDN and NFV in 2014, and 97 percent by 2015. The primary initial target for enterprises is wide area network (WAN), while for service providers it is the data center.

It’s not all optimism. The network professionals have concerns as well.

SDN and NFV deployment targets vary. As expected, the datacenter is a primary initial target for SDN and NFV solutions. However, for enterprise respondents, the wide area network (WAN) takes precedence over the data center. And likely reflecting the pressure of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, enterprises are targeting the wireless local area network LAN (WLAN) before the campus LAN, branch WAN, or metropolitan area network (MAN). For the service provider, the datacenter is far and away the No. 1 initial target. Interestingly, however, the LAN and the wireless WAN (WWAN) are targets two and three, respectively, for the service provider – not the WAN or the MAN.

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