Written by Jim Metzler
Jim Metzler is an expert at researching and analyzing emerging technology trends within the networking and service provider space.
A lack of attention to business use cases and management of the technologies involved has delayed SDN in crossing the chasm into mainstream acceptance, but it will soon.
An important question is, when will SDN cross the chasm. One of the reasons that's an interesting question, it's been on the edge of crossing the chasm for the last year or two, but it hasn't done that yet for a couple of really important reasons.
We're seeing over the last year, a lot of attention on use cases, what can we do with SDN? What we have not seen anywhere near as broadly, is the business case, why would I want to do that with SDN? Why is that a better way of doing whatever the function is, than I currently am? That's a major impediment to SDN crossing the chasm.
There are other impediments mainly from an operational perspective. Most of the attention that's been paid to SDN has been on the technology. Much less has been paid to how you manage the technology. For example, it's a wonderful idea to get the spin up virtual networks in a dynamic fashion. But troubleshooting such a system is potentially a nightmare, and no company will deploy a technology, or in this case, an architecture, if they can't troubleshoot it. It's another major impediment to SDN crossing the chasm.