IBM Looking to Sell SDN Business: Report
Less than a week after announcing a $2.3 billion deal to sell its x86 server unit to Lenovo, IBM reportedly is looking to shed its SDN unit.IBM, which just last week announced it was selling its low-end x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion, reportedly now is looking to unload its software-defined networking business for as much as $1 billion. Citing unnamed sources, Re/code reported that while the deal with Lenovo includes selling some networking assets, including switches, what isn't part of the sale is IBM's offerings around software-defined networking (SDN), a burgeoning part of the industry that promises to shake up the networking space. According to the report, IBM has approached a range of networking vendors—including Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Juniper Networks and Fujitsu—though it's unclear what kind of reception Big Blue is getting. IBM is not commenting on the report. SDN is designed to make networks more scalable, programmable, flexible and cost-effective by removing the network intelligence from complex and expensive hardware and placing it in software. The goal is to make it as easy to configure networks as it is to create virtual servers, and to automate many of the tasks around configuration and management.
SDN has been the hot topic in networking for almost two years, though broad adoption is still on the horizon. According to a recent survey by QuinStreet Enterprise—the publisher of eWEEK, as well as other news sites, such as Baseline, CIO Insight and IT Business Edge—while SDN has gotten a lot of attention, it's still an emerging technology and has relatively low penetration in the enterprise. Less than 30 percent of those surveyed by QuinStreet Enterprise have deployed or plan to deploy SDN in the next 12 months, while another 40 percent have no plans to implement the technology.