Why SDN Deployments Will Take Longer Than You Think

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Mainstream SDN is ten years out, because enterprise IT does not see a compelling need, buying habits are entrenched and extended product lifetimes are stretching refresh cycles.
  • SDN is still nascent technology and has yet to move into the early adopter phase.  In fact, from an adoption standpoint, I would say SDN is still in the innovator phase and is thus far from crossing the chasm to early majority.

In my discussions with others (colleagues, vendor employees, other analysts, enterprise IT) about SDN, the discussion usually wanders around to timing.  I think it is safe to say that many believe SDN adoption is going to take off – i.e., go mainstream, meaning greater than 50% penetration – in two to three years.  When I shake my head and say it’ll be more like ten years, I usually get a look that says, “Hey, Fratto’s gone soft in the head;” then, they point to some corner case as proof, or worse, to someone else who thinks SDN is two to three years out.  Here is why I think mainstream SDN is ten years out: lack of a compelling need, entrenched buying habits and extended product lifetimes.  Continue reading “Why SDN Deployments Will Take Longer Than You Think”