Data center and SDN strategies of North American enterprises

Infonetics Research on Friday shared a report on data center and SDN strategies of North American enterprises.

Enterprises say application performance is a top driver for investing in the data center.

Survey respondents anticipate that over half the servers in their data centers will be virtualized by 2015.

SDN (software-defined networking) passes the sniff test: enterprises are seriously evaluating SDN, but most will wait to deploy it until they believe it’s ready for prime time.

Infonetics expects SDN to go mainstream by 2017.

Data center and SDN strategies of North American enterprises

When asked to name the top 3 SDN vendors, various respondents named Avaya, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware – with Cisco receiving the most votes.

Speed tops the list of important criteria when selecting a fabric for the data center, with 66 percent of respondents looking at support for 10GE, 40GE, and even 100GE.

Increasingly, network equipment is being purchased as part of a data-center-in-a-rack or app-in-a-rack bundle rather than as separate best-of-breed solutions for servers, storage, and networking.

The convergence of Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FC) networks using FCoE is going slow, with 46 percent of enterprises indicating they still plan to increase spending on FC technology.

“Physical networks continue to be the foundation for the high-performance connectivity that today’s virtualized applications demand, and our latest data center study bears this out, confirming that investment in data center technologies remains robust as businesses seek to improve application performance, increase security, and reduce costs,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research.

“With the average number of virtual machines per server hitting 30 by 2015, we look for virtual switches running on general purpose servers to become the new network edge,” Grossner said.

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