SDN and SD-WAN Are On the Rise
November 06, 2015

Hansang Bae
Riverbed Technology

SDN adoption in the datacenter is gaining strong interest with SD-WAN emerging as the next wave of network innovation for remote and branch office locations, according to a survey conducted by Riverbed Technology at VMworld 2015.

By all indications, a software-defined approach to networking is seeing an increased interest among organizations. Fully 77 percent of survey respondents said that their organizations are at some level of participation with software-defined networking solutions within their data center (SDN), including 13 percent that have already deployed SDN. The survey found that 29 percent are exploring similar architectures for their remote branch office locations (SD-WAN), including nearly 5 percent who have fully implemented SD-WAN solutions today.

The top three drivers for adopting a software-defined approach to networking in order of importance are:

1. Being able to deploy new applications and services more quickly (71 percent said this was somewhat/extremely important)

2. Reducing costs (69 percent of those pursuing)

3. Reducing mistakes when deploying applications and services (68 percent)

“The new Riverbed Software-Defined survey shows that with the increasing complexity in today’s hybrid IT environments, organizations seek better ways to have full visibility and deliver applications across their distributed enterprise,” said Paul O’Farrell, SVP and GM of the SteelHead and SteelFusion business units at Riverbed Technology. “With the rise of SaaS applications, coupled with an insatiable demand for more bandwidth, traditional approaches to wide-area networking no longer meet the needs of business. The emerging area of SD-WAN allows applications to be delivered securely and optimally across hybrid networks and hybrid clouds with reduced cost, increased speed/agility and streamlined management.”

“While the survey clearly indicates we’re still in the early days of SDN and SD-WAN, we expect that over the next 3-5 years many organizations will deploy a SD-WAN solution as a modern replacement for traditional branch networking solutions,” he added.

The Riverbed survey was conducted over the course of the VMworld 2015 conference and questioned 260 attendees from a variety of roles and with a median company size of 2,300 employees. Attendees were asked about their current and future plans to adopt disruptive enterprise networking innovations, including Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN).

Hansang Bae is CTO of Riverbed Technology.

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