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One in five enterprises use software-defined networks: survey

Centralized management and monitoring through software-defined networking. Sounds like a great idea? Despite some groans in the IT space, around one-in-five enterprises are already hooked up.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Around one in five enterprises are currently using software-defined networks (SDNs), according to research carried out by Brocade.

According to the company — one of the many SDN providers on the market — the "we have no plans to evaluate SDNs" slice of the survey pie holds just one percentage point more than the "we are using them at present" segment. And yet it's almost exactly the same figure using alternative fabric-based networks.

While SDNs appear vague in definition, many are left unsure as to what they can offer. And currently lacking a wealth of developer and industry support, the future of software-controlled networks remains unclear.

That said, the research shows that SDNs appears to be of interest among many, with about six out of ten respondents to the survey planning on examining or employing such technologies in order to increase productivity and improve availability and service delivery.

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Image: Brocade

The research shows a near three-way split between the benefits of SDNs. While 42 percent of respondents believe it will increase productivity, 40 percent believe SDNs offer better access to real-time information, and 38 percent believe they improve uptime and the availability of data.

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Image: Brocade

While a minority of respondents have already adopted fabric networks, SDNs, and on-demand data centres, the wider majority are currently looking into or plan to investigate future adoption.

And in ZDNet's recent Great Debate covering the topic, the audience favored the "hope" of SDNs future over the "hype" the technology had garnered. Despite the 56 percent of the audience favoring Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' arguments, such as that "a company's network infrastructure can be used more affordably," his considerations were outweighed by the better argument of Robin Harris, who suggested that "the switch and router vendor's commercial interests."

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