Global firms see SDN data center security to drive spending

Staff writer
22 Jun 2016

Global businesses are seeing SDN-compatible data center solutions to drive technology spending.

In a survey, research firm IHS said from massive hosting providers to cloud-centric companies like Google and Amazon to large and medium enterprises, IT organizations around the world are consolidating and rebuilding data centers, moving infrastructure into the cloud and looking at flexible and programmable hybrid cloud architectures in an effort to get the scalability and agility they need to operate their businesses and manage costs.

There are many solutions available, but little consensus on which is best and who should provide it, IHS said.

The research firm predicted that the battle for data center security domination continues to rage in 2016, particularly at the high end of the appliance market. Many buyers are evaluating vendors old and new based on the following:

  • The ability to supply the interfaces, connections and throughput performance required today. Buyers will jump ship in 2016 if they believe security infrastructure will hamstring their high-performance data centers. 25G ports, in particular, will be a key offering for the data center in 2016 and beyond.
  • Performance increases that don’t compromise security efficacy and management and policy tools. Accessing real-time threat data tops the list of new investment drivers of businesses participating in the IHS data center security survey.
  • Solutions that are cost competitive today and offer an attractive upgrade path, including the ability to increase performance via software and/or hardware upgrades and add new protection mechanisms.
  • A compelling roadmap for virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN), with concrete plans for products in the very near term and a proof of concept with a variety of hypervisor and SDN controller platforms. A roadmap for container security solutions is becoming more important as well.

The survey also revealed that the most significant transformation affecting enterprise data centers today is the adoption of server virtualization technology and data center orchestration software—the building blocks of the virtualized data center and important ingredients in the eventual rollout of SDN in the data center.

Seventy-four percent of survey respondents say the need for SDN-compatible data center security solutions drives their new purchases.

The survey further said when it comes to brand strength for key data center security buying criteria, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), McAfee, Microsoft and VMware top survey respondents’ list

Although large vendors tend to do better overall in the data center security space due to brand strength, there is still opportunity for small vendors to compete, especially in emerging areas like virtual appliances and container security solutions, IHS said.

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