Cisco, Nokia, Ciena Named SDN Leaders

Three vendors lead the pack for software-defined networking (SDN) orchestration: Cisco/Tail-f, Nokia and Ciena.

That’s according to respondents in a questionnaire by IHS Markit, which on Wednesday revealed the results of a survey conducted with global service providers who have deployed or will deploy software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (NFV).

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

The researcher asked the survey respondents to list their top three vendors for SDN orchestration. Cisco/Tail-f was by far the most popular – getting approximately 60 percent. Nokia trailed with about 45 percent, and Ciena finished just ahead of Juniper and Huawei in third place.

The study included nine categories for SDN/NFV, including technology innovation, security software, pricing and support.

Howard said more than three-fourths of operator respondents are harnessing telecom equipment manufacturers for SDN hardware and software. The survey also found that more than 40 percent of the service providers purchase from specialized SDN vendors, SDN application software specialists open source distribution vendors, data-center virtualization software vendors and virtualized network functions software specialists.

“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,” he said. “They’ll use a variety of suppliers to avoid vendor lock-in.”

SDN and NFV experts discussed the growing technological trend in a recent Channel Partners video.

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