The implementation of software-defined networking is starting to take off, with organisations looking to the technology to meet their wide area networking challenges.
IHS conducted in-depth surveys with 150 businesses in North America businesses about their data centres and found that 45% intend to increase spending on software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) over the next two years.

“Within the data centre, raw speed with support for software-defined networking (SDN) and virtualised workloads are the top requirements for fabrics among companies participating in our enterprise data centre study,” says Dr Cliff Grossner, research director for data centre, cloud and SDN at IHS.

“Meanwhile, outside the data centre, SDN-led transformation is taking hold in the WAN optimization market. There’s a shift from optimising application traffic flows over a single point-to-point WAN link to automated and dynamic load balancing of application traffic over multiple link types – MPLS, broadband, internet, cellular, et cetera,” Grossner adds.

Highlight from the data centre study include:
* Security, application performance and scalability are respondent organisations’ top data centre investment drivers;
* The need for raw bandwidth continues to drive higher speeds in data centre networking: Among enterprises surveyed, 100GE deployments are growing at the expense of 40GE, and 25GE is nearly invisible;
* The use of solid state drives for storage is increasing and placing higher performance demands on storage networking; and
* By 2017, 71% of respondents plan to have software-defined storage products in live production, up from 15% today.