An interesting article caught our eye earlier this month – Information Age set its stall out and made 5 predictions for software defined networking in 2015.  It is always interesting when any organisation puts a stake in the ground with regards to what the next 12 months will hold, especially in such a dynamic space.

SDN really started hitting the technology headlines a few years back.  IDC then predicted the market would grow to $3.7bn by 2016 (latest figures now suggest $8bn by 2018), and Gartner referred to it as a “Trigger Technology” in its 2012 Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications Technologies.

Despite vendors clearly promoting how SDN could revolutionise the way a business operates, it came to market at a time when organisations were being very careful about investing precious IT budgets and IT teams were proceeding with more caution than before through the critical evaluation stage.  So much so that in 2013 it was still being suggested that the general consensus was that the industry was “three to five years away from widespread adoption of SDN.”  In this sector one-size will never fit all and whilst some businesses will of course wait for the early adopters to report back, others are already making good progress.

Would AT&T announce, at the end of last year, that it had a plan to virtualise and control more than 75% of its network using software architecture by 2020 (cloud, SDN and NFV technologies) if it did not have a good business case for doing so?

As a major player in this space, we know that getting predictions right can be critical to the success of any SDN deployment:

  • What will the demands on the network be?
  • How can we manage if our network fails?
  • If we need to upgrade part of our network how can we re-route traffic?
  • If we introduce a new product or service what is the impact on network traffic?

In order to help make business driven decisions around these potentially grey areas Aria Networks introduced its Operator Maturity Index (OMI).  The OMI instantly enables service providers to identify gaps in the management of resources, ensuring businesses then only implement the relevant virtualisation tools they will see an immediate return from.

Having an opinion on what lies ahead is essential to ensuring that you are future-proofing your business, but all the star gazing in the world is not going to optimise your network today.  Take action.