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SDN & OpenFlow Testing: Who's Doing What
There's little question about why so many vendors and network operators are interested in software-defined networks; essentially, SDN detaches network control from the data forwarding function and is directly programmable. The benefits of such a network are increased manageability, cost-effectiveness and adaptable architecture. Meanwhile, vendors and operators are also focusing their attention on OpenFlow to deploy new routing and switching protocols in networks that support functions like virtual machine (VM) mobility and next-generation, IP-based mobile networks.

Operators are thrilled with the concept because traffic management is an increasingly expensive and furtive effort. The expense primarily is driven by the explosion of high-tech devices laptops, tablets, readers, smartphones that drives demand for greater bandwidth. But developing a sophisticated network communications system is difficult to do when the underlying technologies change so frequently and don't always play well together (think 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.).

More important than whether a vendor or operator has SDN will be how strenuously such networks are tested and measured to ensure real-world traffic demands. The amount of money that has been invested in SDN won't matter in the long term if the networks fail to surpass the standards already set by existing network buildouts. Toward that end, leading suppliers of test and measurement products are pushing hard to develop robust SDN testing tools.

There is no doubt that SDN is still a very young technology that hasn't been well defined. Nevertheless, maturation of SDN and OpenFlow technologies will occur over the coming two years, as network operators seek cheaper and faster ways to build out networks that can carry heavier loads.

To foster SDN adoption, more live test beds will emerge, allowing service providers to evaluate how they will incorporate SDN. Operators will drive both standards definition, while leveraging proprietary techniques to achieve specific business needs.

SDN & OpenFlow Testing: Who's Doing What examines the test and measurement market for SDN and OpenFlow. It examines the verticals that are the most lucrative for SDN test and measurement, and discusses drivers and challenges in the industry. It includes a comparative analysis of solutions available, examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that will likely occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (hri1113_toc.pdf)
According to recent reports, the SDN market will be worth $3.7 billion by 2016. Regardless of whether this lofty goal is attained, the reality is that operators, vendors and others in the ecosystem are looking toward SDN as the next transformation in networking. As shown in the following excerpt, the strongest driver in the testing of SDN networks will be to address complex network behavior and performance testing. Specifically, SDN adoption is still early. Before broad production of SDN networking occurs, thorough and consistent testing should be done.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Axiros GmbH; Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA); JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU); Overture Networks Inc.; QualiSystems Ltd.; and Spirent Communications plc (LSE: SPT).
Total pages: 16
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