VMworld Survey Shows Enterprises Turning to Software-Defined WAN

Already with a strong interest in software-defined networking (SDN), more enterprises are turning to applying the disruptive software-defined virtualization technology to the wide-area network, a recent survey suggests.

Application performance infrastructure company Riverbed Technology Inc. conducted the survey at the recent VMworld conference. It polled 260 of the conference attendees who fulfilled various roles in organizations with a median size of 2,300 employees.

The survey -- designed to gauge current and future plans to adopt disruptive enterprise networking innovations -- pointed to strong interest in SDN and identified software-defined wide-area-networking (SD-WAN) as the "next wave of network innovation for remote and branch office locations."

"The new Riverbed software-defined survey shows that with the increasing complexity in today's hybrid IT environments, organizations seek better ways to have full visibility and deliver applications across their distributed enterprise," exec Paul O'Farrell said in a statement yesterday. "With the rise of [Software-as-a-Service] SaaS applications, coupled with an insatiable demand for more bandwidth, traditional approaches to wide-area networking no longer meet the needs of business. The emerging area of SD-WAN allows applications to be delivered securely and optimally across hybrid networks and hybrid clouds with reduced cost, increased speed/agility and streamlined management."

Survey highlights included:

  • 77 percent of respondents said their organizations are at some level of participation with SDN solutions within their datacenter.
  • 13 percent had already deployed SDN.
  • 29 percent are exploring similar architectures for their remote branch office locations (SD-WAN).
  • 5 percent have already fully implemented SD-WAN.
  • The top three drivers of the SDN approach were: being able to deploy new applications and services more quickly (71 percent said this was somewhat/extremely important); reducing costs (69 percent of those pursuing); and reducing mistakes when deploying applications and services (68 percent).

"While the survey clearly indicates we're still in the early days of SDN and SD-WAN, we expect that over the next 3-5 years many organizations will deploy a SD-WAN solution as a modern replacement for traditional branch networking solutions," O'Farrell said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.