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SDN Market Assessment, Summer 2014:
Creating Ecosystems and Developing Communities

| June 30, 2014 | Data Center Technology |
| Analyst: Mike Fratto, Principal Analyst

The SDN market is evolving quickly as vendors adapt their SDN strategies to a changing landscape. SDN is being driven due to data center IT adopting to a “software defined everything” approach. Networking is one of the last core infrastructures, far behind server hardware, OSs and storage, that had yet to be automated and was a hurdle to get over. Early attempts to integrate with hypervisors closed the gap somewhat, but not enough to become a core capability. SDN brings that programmatic automation to networking whether driven by an orchestration system or an application and makes a software defined data center possible.

Networking vendors are delivering SDN product suites to market that automate network provisioning and ensure optimal network usage in an automated fashion. Key to the success of SDN is the ecosystem that vendors can bring together or participate in because networking involves products in adjacent markets like application delivery controllers and security which also has to be included in the SDN process.

Each vendor’s SDN strategy has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and enterprise IT needs to carefully evaluate current or potential vendor strategies for alignment with their own IT goals. Because of the depth and breadth of integration that SDN will require, the ties to a product decision today will have a long lasting impact.

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