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Bob Laliberte
Bob Laliberte
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Buy Or Build Your Own SDN?

An ESG survey shows a broad range of approaches among enterprises when it comes to deploying software-defined networking.

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Susan Fogarty
Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Strategist
5/1/2014 | 4:06:34 PM
SDN decisions
Bob, thanks for this post -- there's a lot of great information packed in here, especially in the lists of what to consider. I'm intrigued that so many of your survey respondents said they were planning a combination of build and buy. Are there any additional gotchas in a combination solution that you haven't already mentioned?
User Rank: Strategist
5/1/2014 | 4:07:12 PM
SDN choices
Interesting to see in the ESG survey how few respondents said "too soon to tell" or "don't know" when asked whether they would buy or build. I would think many more would think it's too early to figure out how they'll tackle SDN, if they will at all.
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2014 | 5:39:57 PM
If SDN is virtualization of Network Services then what does NFV define??
It looks like ESG's definition of term SDN is completely different than what folks from ONS and ODL define SDN. None the less it is interesting article.

User Rank: Moderator
5/2/2014 | 9:39:48 AM
General SDN or purpose-driven?
If you ask people if they want to have a single vendor provide "networking" or if they will go with a hybrid, most people will tell you that they will go with multiple vendors. The term "network" is simply too broad to consider one vendor for all aspects. 

When ends up happening is that people build out specific parts of a network (datacenter switching, WAN aggregation, campus, whatever). And for each of those, they can make a set of decisions.

Talking about SDN in general does two things: it paints too big a picture, and it presumes that the thing being deployed is SDN. SDN is a tool. It is useful, but it is not the thing you deploy. You deploy network monitoring (Tap applications). That you use SDN is interesting (possibly even differentiating), but it is not the highest order thing.

What the suvey tells me is that people know SDN is coming but don't yet know enough about how to use it, else they wouldn't be talking about it as the thing. Collectively, we have to get past talking about the underlying tech and more about what that tech actually does.

Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

User Rank: Strategist
5/2/2014 | 11:32:21 AM
Re: General SDN or purpose-driven?
You make a good point Mike. It seems in general there's so much on focus on/debate about SDN technology that the actual business benefits get overlooked. Tom Hollingsworth wrote an interesting blog about this topic earlier this year:

Drew Conry-Murray
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Strategist
5/2/2014 | 10:07:07 AM
Custom seems high
I was surprised that 21% said they would hire programmers to write custom code. That number seems high to me.
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