SDN Buyer's Guide

Apr 29, 2013


SDN at a Crossroads

In little more than four years, OpenFlow went from university research project to poster child for an entirely new approach to network design and management. Not that it's been a smooth road -- the software-defined networking model is so potentially disruptive that network gear titans quickly moved to marginalize the technology as "a nice research project" but entirely inadequate to the task of enterprise network management and application control.

When that didn't fly, the tactic moved to the classic "acknowledge, embrace and extend" strategy. Companies like Cisco and Juniper put forth an expansive view of SDN as more than a new packet-forwarding architecture, but rather a design philosophy. The end goal: to automate network management and make network applications and services far more dynamic, flexible and scalable.

SDN is segmenting into product slices targeting different network layers, IT problems and application needs. We decided to define four categories, outline what to look for in each and ask vendors to take their best shot at your SDN business by completing our ­survey. While the market is young, we know it will grow, so we'll continue to augment our online comparison with new submissions throughout the year, hoping to make it your one-stop shop for the latest and best SDN information.

Get the complete vendor responses here. (R6860513)


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