Software Defined Cloud Networking – The Formless in Pursuit of Ephemeral? By Brad Casemore


Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacentre Networks, IDC

Cloud is a key pillar of what IDC calls the third platform. The third platform is really a generational thing. It’s new application workloads that are defining what has to happen in the infrastructure, including the network.
So, if you think about third platform applications, cloud is a key pillar. We also have mobility. We have data analytics. We have things like social business and we also have, of course, the Internet of things which is emerging.
On this slide that you see on either side of the stage you can see some of the metrics that IDC is tracking that relate to cloud. 80% of US companies today are at least considering private or public cloud. Some have made more headway than others.
Enterprises using cloud expect to increase their cloud spending by 34% over the next 24 months. Public cloud IT, you can see the $122b metric there for spending in 2018.
Another important factor here is that 90% from a developers perspective of new commercial apps are now developed specifically for the cloud and that’s, I think, an important factor as we talk about what needs to chance in the infrastructure. This is driven by the workloads. Networks do not exist in a world unto themselves.
They exist to support critical workload. We can see infrastructure spending that’s related to cloud services again growing. This is really where the growth is for service providers as well and, again, this slide really – I won’t spend a lot of time on this, but really what this slide is showing you is that the growth again is in cloud and cloud infrastructure, including cloud networks such as SDN. The non-cloud is not where the growth is. It’s probably obvious to everybody here, but this slide really makes that clear.
We talk about the third platform and cloud being a key pillar, but I really want to emphasise the generational aspect of this in a networking context. We had our first period that we could call a first pillar of networking which was all about networking for mainframes and other systems and mini computers.
We had a second period. That was about the early days of switching and multiprotocol routing in LAN/WAN technologies. I guess I lied; I am talking a bit about protocols. I’m sorry.
Then we had the third period which is really networking for the third platform applications which is all about SDN and other architectural approaches. It’s about automation. It’s about providing a network that’s DevOps friendly and certainly developer friendly. It’s about hybrid cloud. Of course, the third platform apps and we can see that more predomination of East/West traffic. The focus is on automation, programmability and orchestration in this world.
This slide just shows you what I was talking about before. The growth is in private cloud and public cloud. This is worldwide infrastructure and you can see the growth rates there.
This is interesting too. This is a slide that looks at traditional IT network service providers, other cloud service providers and hyperscale. The hyperscalers I think have actually, certainly for networking and right across the board, there have been innovations that have come out of hyperscale (I think that was mentioned earlier) and are making their way down market. They may not be used in the same manner as they make that migration. They’ll be repackaged in many cases. But I think those innovations are critical. They’re having an impact not only for other cloud providers, enterprises and service providers, but they’re also having certainly significant implications for the supply chain in the networking industry.
And again we’ve moved from traditional networking to software defined networking in its various forms.
It’s an IDC presentation, so of course we have to have a forecast slide. We’ve got the SDN market reaching about $8b in 2018. If folks want to visit with me, so, if you want to talk about how we break that out in the segments that are part of that, I’m pleased to have that discussion.
This is a survey slide we did. What’s driving today’s SDN deployments, and that will lead us right into a discussion. We asked which of the following factors is the primary motivation for considering your implementing SDN and right up the top, they had to mention just one factor, so that’s why the percentages are not high across the board. Needing the network to have more agility to support virtualisation applications in cloud was right up top at nearly 30%. Increasing the ability to deliver new applications or services 23%. A similar answer in many respects. Requiring better programmability of the network for operational efficiency and OpEx gains, again over 20% and you can see the others.
But, SDN, there is still a lot of traditional IT and traditional IT infrastructure out there.

Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacentre Networks, IDC



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