eWEEKchat Feb. 10: Software-Defined Networking: Is It Improving or Complicating IT?

As we move into Year 4 of #eWEEKchats, this will be a particularly timely conversation on how new-gen networking will fare in 2016.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST/7 p.m. GMT, @eWEEKNews will host its 40th monthly #eWEEKChat. The topic will be "Software-Defined Networking: Is It Improving or Complicating IT?" It will be moderated by Chris Preimesberger, who serves as eWEEK's editor of features and analysis.

Some quick facts:

Topic: "Software-Defined Networking: Is It Improving or Complicating IT?"

Date/time: Feb. 10, 2016 @11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST/7 p.m. GMT

Moderator: Chris Preimesberger: @editingwhiz

Tweetchat handle: Use #eWEEKChat to follow/participate. But it's easier and more efficient to use real-time chatroom links.

Chatroom real-time links: We have two: http://tweetchat.com/room/eweekchat or http://www.tchat.io/rooms/eweekchat. Both work well. Sign in via Twitter and use #eweekchat for the identifier.

"Software-Defined Networking: Is It Improving or Complicating IT?"

For decades, IT networking was all about wiring, plugging cables into the right ports, and using firewalls for security. No more. The data center industry has long since moved to larger-pipe connectivity (Ethernet, Infiniband), central network controls, and automated storage and security—to mention only a few upgrades.

Software-defined networking (SDN) and other network virtualization technologies have driven the conversation in the industry for the past several years. However, for all the talk about SDN (there have been hundreds of analyst reports and thousands of news stories written about it), the tech world is still in the early stages of SDN and network-functions virtualization (NFV). In addition, there are more than a few network administrators who think it might be overkill to overhaul a system for a small or medium-size business when the current one works just fine.

Why put up with all the complexity, costs and retraining of staff?

Well, plenty of key decision-makers are, in fact, deciding to make that change. Analysts with Research and Markets expect the market to grow quickly over the next few years—to $11.5 billion between now and 2020. However, enterprises and carriers will continue running pilot programs and early deployments this year and next, with the technology going mainstream between 2019 and 2020.

Quinstreet Enterprise, two years after conducting its first survey on the market, recently released another survey, "SDN Growth Takes IT Infrastructure by Storm." What Quinstreet Enterprise—the publisher of eWEEK—found was a market that is moving beyond the hype, with real and expected deployments growing and a broadening array of vendor options.

Key data points from our survey:

  • Thirty-nine percent of the 466 IT professionals surveyed said they either are currently using SDN technology in their infrastructures or are planning to within the next 12 months.
  • Another 10 percent said deployment will come in the next 13 to 24 months, and 25 percent said they plan to deploy, but don't yet have a timeline.
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents said they are using a combination of deployment models.
  • Sixty-nine percent said using the cloud makes updating network appliances much easier.
  • Nineteen percent of respondents using SDN came from the tech industry, and another 12 percent from telecommunications. Eleven percent were from banking and financial services, 9 percent each from education and manufacturing, and 8 percent from federal, state or local government.

These are just a few of the data points we'll talk about on Feb. 10. We also will pose questions such as:

  • Is your enterprise currently using software-defined networking, planning to use it or not planning to use it?
  • VMware is a company moving to provide SDN products. What other companies will become SDN players in 2016?
  • What do you personally see as the No. 1 advantage of moving a network to SDN?
  • What do you see as a disadvantage of changing over to SDN?
  • Do you see, or do you not see, predictive SDN becoming mainstream in 2016?

Join us Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. GMT for an hour. Chances are good that you'll learn something valuable.

eWEEK Senior Editor Jeff Burt contributed to this story.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...