A recent survey of carriers indicates that three-quarters of them either have already deployed software defined networking (SDN) technology in their networks or will do so by the end of this year, according to an article by IHS Markit Senior Research Director, Carrier Networks Michael Howard. The news complements a companion report from IHS Markit that indicated 80% or more surveyed carriers will employ network functions virtualization (NFV) by the end of next year (see "More than 80% of service providers polled will deploy NFV by 2017: IHS").
The service providers who responded to the market research firm's survey indicate that SDN appeals to them as a way to automate their networks and improve internal processes, operations, and service offerings. In particular, the respondents believe the use of SDN will benefit service agility, time to revenue, operational efficiency, and capex savings, Howard writes.
The top three domains operators will target in the current SDN roll out phase include data centers, between data centers and access for businesses.
Despite the momentum behind SDN, Howard reports that many of these initial forays will be limited to what he termed "contained domains." He believes that its will be "many years" before such carriers embark on large-scale deployments of SDN. Along these lines, carriers told IHS Markit that a lack of carrier-grade products and integration of virtual networking into their existing physical networks remain barriers to SDN use.
The 22-page IHS Markit SDN strategies survey, the fourth the company has conducted, is based on interviews with purchase-decision makers at 28 service providers around the world that control 53% of the world's telecom capex and are deploying or plan to deploy SDN in their networks in the future.
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