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SDN, data center predictions for 2015

Jan 07, 20153 mins
Cisco SystemsData CenterSDN

Technology Business Research and Plexxi weigh in; hyperconvergence, policy and disaggregation

The predictions for data center and SDN in 2015 are still rolling in. Technology Business Research says software will pervade the data center while start-up Plexxi believes policy and disaggregation will be front and center.

Here’s the link to TBR’s 2015 Data Center Predictions. Some of the more interesting prognostications in it are the acceleration of SDN in the enterprise and the ability of hyperconvergence to converge.

TBR sees enterprises increasing uptake of SDN due to mature offerings and more clearly defined business value. More separation will occur between SDN market leaders and laggards toward the end of the year.

It will be white box switching’s time to shine. Vendors in this space will have an opportunity to convince enterprises that commodity switching and hardware independent operating systems are a smarter long term data center investment than tightly coupled vanity systems, TBR says.

This year will also be showtime for hyperconvergence, the concept of combining multisourced IT elements into an adaptable, storage-centric information management system. TBR believes hyperconvergence vendors like , SimpliVity and others will take share from converged system incumbents, like EMC’s VCE company, and Cisco’s partnerships with NetApp, IBM and others.

The activity will prompt some incumbents to acquire the invading company. Cisco has a partnership with SimpliVity; and Dell has a partnership with Nutanix.

Plexxi expects partnerships in cloud to drive its forecast for hybrid formations in 2015. More progress will be made on unified workload orchestration across private and public, prompting public cloud providers to drift into the customer premises. This will include establishing partnerships with on-premises and colocation providers, states Plexxi Co-founder Mat Mathews.

If these providers implement SDNs, it may be more for policy than flow control, Plexxi posits. SDN will move from a “flow-centric” approach to more of an application policy mechanism driving the entire network in alignment with that application.

And just as SDN practitioners will partner, so too will hardware and software vendors based on disaggregation – separating the OS from the hardware so it can run on multiple switches and routers. We saw Juniper do that last fall.

Plexxi says this trend will create more combinations of hardware and switch operating system software partners.

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Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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