Survey shows carriers' top picks for SDN

Staff writer
17 Aug 2016

For global carriers, Cisco/Tail-f, Nokia and Ciena—including Cyan—are the top SDN vendors, according to a survey released by IHS Markit.

The IHS Markit survey interviewed global service providers that have deployed software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) or will do so in the future.

“In our survey of global carriers, Cisco/Tail-f,Nokia and Ciena led all vendors in unaided brand awareness for SDN orchestration software,” said Michael Howard, senior research director and advisor, carrier networks at IHS Markit.

“And Cisco/Tail-f and Nokia were also tops in SDN hardware and software under evaluation.”

The survey explores SDN and NFV deployment timing, supplier types, perceived top vendors and operator ratings of SDN and NFV manufacturers on nine criteria.

Howard said over three-quarters of operator respondents will use telecom equipment manufacturers, among other supplier types, to supply SDN hardware and software for their networks.

“Carriers envision a world of multi-supplier SDN and NFV, with centralized orchestration of network services and equipment, and new control mechanisms and network architectures. They’ll use a variety of suppliers to avoid vendor lock-in,” the analyst added.

More than 40% of survey respondents will buy from each of the following supplier types: specialized SDN vendors, open source distribution vendors, SDN application software specialists, data center virtualization/orchestration software vendors and virtualized network functions (VNF) software specialists.

The top-ranked criteria service providers use to select an SDN vendor include product reliability, service and support, technology innovation, price-to-performance ratio and management software.

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