Separating Hype from Reality SDN in the Financial Services Market

Separating Hype from Reality SDN in the Financial Services Market

A recent Juniper survey found that 56% of financial services firms plan to adopt Software Defined Networking (SDN) within a year. Most of these organizations express a desire to forecast and provision for demand ahead of time, with SDN as the solution. But where does hype end and the reality begin? We sat down with Jennifer Lin, Senior Director of Product Management at Juniper, to get her insight on SDN deployments in the financial services market.

Q: In financial services, is there a specific use case that you see that makes SDN more reality than hype?

In financial services, the biggest interest has been around this notion of IT as a service, getting some of the benefits of a cloud environment but still keeping the control in a private IT environment. Yes, a lot of the users of IT would like the AWS-type experience, where they can just go to a cloud or portal and grab what they need without filing a trouble ticket. The reality is many of the applications in that enterprise environment are on-premise, in a private environment, in their data centers and they need to be pretty diligent about where they move.

We are working with one banking customer who has implemented OpenStack for their mobile banking environment, and they’ve been needing to move very quickly to roll out new mobile banking applications. So for those development teams, they need to quickly move from development to QA and testing into production in a more SaaS-like web/mobile application model. That’s in deployment today for their sort-of private cloud. Moving forward a lot of what they want to be able to do is make the public cloud environment an extension of that private cloud environment so that they can enforce network and security polices -- whether it’s on premise or not.

Q: What's the best advice you could offer someone considering deploying SDN?

The best advice I would give to someone thinking about SDN is to just be clear about what the metrics for success are. If you look at our corporate customers and carrier customers, there are some problems that they’re trying to solve as they ramp up new revenue-generating services. The ROI is not just about cost reduction, as I think many projects in IT often were: how do we do server consolidation, data center consolidation? Cost savings is always helpful, but I think a lot of the metrics for success are now around agility, and how quickly can we roll out new services in a way that essentially saves cost over time.