Survey: Mainstream adoption of SDN, SD-WAN finally arrives

In 2018, for the first time cloud and software-defined data-center concerns have become the primary focus of enterprise network teams, bumping server virtualization from the top spot, according to an Enterprise management Associates (EMA) report based on a survey of 251 North American and European enterprise network managers

This is the first shift in their priorities for in more than a decade. Since 2008, EMA has been asking network managers to identify the broad IT initiatives that drive their priorities. Server virtualization has dominated their responses year after year. Cloud and software-defined data center (SDDC) architectures have always been secondary or tertiary drivers.

In 2018, this pattern has finally broken, according to EMA’s “Network Management Megatrends 2018” research. This shift in drivers is also leading to mainstream focus on software-defined networking (SDN), network virtualization and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN).

Server virtualization and workload consolidation

Before there was vCloud, OpenStack, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or even ESXi, there was simply VMware ESX. At its outset, VMware’s server-virtualization technology allowed enterprises to run more than one application on an x86 host, which allowed data center operators to consolidate workloads onto a smaller number of servers. Virtualization allowed enterprises to remove hardware, save rack space and drive efficiency in power and cooling. Virtualization also facilitated the decomposition of monolithic applications into multi-tiered application architectures, where different layers of an application could run on separate virtual machines.

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