Gartner Research

State of SDN: If You Think SDN Is the Answer, You're Asking the Wrong Question

Published: 24 August 2017

ID: G00325601

Analyst(s): Danilo Ciscato, Joe Skorupa


SDN promised a new era in networking, but left many buyers confused about its value and how to implement. To deliver on SDN's promise, I&O leaders responsible for networking must refocus away from SDN architecture, and onto achieving agility, software capabilities and hardware disaggregation.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Ensure Data Center Network Initiatives Succeed by Focusing on Improving Outcomes Such as Increased Automation, Better Agility, Lower Cost and Reduced Vendor Lock-In
  • Use the Discussion About SDN to Drive Change
    • Focus on Software Differentiation Rather Than on Hardware
    • Update Network Architectural Practices and Better Integrate the Network Within IT Infrastructure
    • Transform Vendor and Product Evaluations to Emphasize the Importance of Software
    • Adopt New Operational Models Rooted in Automation, and Upskill Associated Staff

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