How much impact will SDN actually have?

Programmable networks (SDN and NFV) is the telecoms topic du jour and we think our viewer/reader survey on the subject should throw up some interesting insights. So as a 'thank you' for participating we'll be sending a full set of results (on PDF) to every person who takes the time to fill in the online form.

The more people we have participating, the better our analysis will be, so if you haven't yet done so, please limber up your keyboard, sharpen up your opinions and click here.

Just as a taster, we've been doing some preliminary eyeballing of the results - here are some of the interesting trends we've spotted so far.

In the survey we ask how important the two approaches (SDN and NFV) will be to service providers in the future. None of our respondents so far think that no importance should be attached to them. The vast majority feel they're either both very important or even critical. Slightly surprising is that more importance is being assigned to NFV than SDN. Given the relatively higher media exposure for SDN we expected that it would be in front here, if only slightly.

The difference may be that we have a service provider provider focus - in the datacentre opinions may well be different and so that's one of things we'll be dissecting carefully when it comes time to do our final analysis.

The most interesting questions are usually those that provoke strong responses, both for and against - figuring out why by digging deeper into the numbers is where these surveys get interesting. Cloud services, for instance, are thought by most of our respondents to be by far the biggest beneficiaries of SDN - at the same time cloud gathers the most thumbs down out of all the categories, meaning some people don't think SDN will be important for it at all (or perhaps feel that too much attention is being given cloud and they want to redress the balance a little).

Enterprise services, on the other hand, doesn't get total enthusiasm, but neither is SDN thought by anyone to be of no importance in rolling out these services.

Of great interest is the differences of opinion and expectation shown by our different constituencies and the reasons for those. Perhaps people working for telecoms equipment vendors feel quite differently about the impact of NFV from those working for service providers. After all the very reason for NFV is, to some extent, to commoditise telecoms equipment by using software to create virtual functions on standard hardware. With your help we can dig down to find out if there are relationships between the data that help us understand these dynamics.

We've also asked which companies are best positioned to deliver SDN and NFV. So far there are a few surprises, so if you want to get in and make sure your opinion is lodged, now is the time.

It only takes a few minutes, so help us out by taking the TelecomTV SDN Survey.

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