Software defined networks (SDNs) are now essential for telcos to keep pace with increasingly dynamic applications and services, research firm Ovum claims.
The firm believes traditional network architectures are struggling to keep up as the market changes from a three-tier hierarchy of access, aggregation and core, to flatter architectures.
“SDN has already had a major impact on the communications industry by providing a focal point for a revitalized interest in networking,” notes David Krozier, principal analyst in Ovum’s Network Infrastructure Telecoms team.
According to Ovum, virtualized application software is already replacing network appliances, while infrastructure is becoming more programmable. “SDN provides an opportunity to completely reexamine network architectures, introduce virtualization, and provide truly innovative solutions,” Krozier says.
Despite noting that the shift to SDNs is underway, and indeed necessary, the research firm stops short of backing any single horse in the switch to software. “It’s too early in the evolution,” Krozier says, because “there is too much innovation yet to happen, and vendors and customers have yet to reach a common agenda.”