SDN up 200% among service providers

Standards, management and complexity concerns persist despite boost in use, study finds

Production use of SDN has grown 200% among service providers over the past year, according to a survey from route analytics company Packet Design. Yet concern about the technology – lack of standards, and inadequate visibility and control – is up markedly from last year, while issues with SDN complexity dipped.

Packet Design surveyed 60 service providers this year compared to 100 queried last year. It found that 53% now have SDN in production use compared to 19% last year. The top business driver is increased agility to support new service rollouts, a finding that increased 150% from 2013’s survey.

But lack of industry SDN standards is a concern among 56% of respondents vs. 26% from last year. Similarly, 32% said management tools are currently inadequate for SDN, a percentage that is up 52% from 2013.

Fifty-three percent of respondents have concerns about the complexity of SDN technologies and implementations, which is down from 57% in 2013. Nearly 70% of the 60 service providers surveyed believe they do not have the skills and experience to implement and manage SDN, the Packet Design study concluded.

The company conducted its survey at the recent SDN/MPLS International Conference in Washington.

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