IBM seeks to shed SDN with billion-dollar pricetag

IBM is shaking loose all baggage as it hopes for cloud domination

Only a short time after selling its server business to Lenovo, IBM is reportedly seeking to sell part of its networking assets.

Big Blue is reportedly looking to offload its software-defined networking (SDN) product line for as much as $1 billion (£607 million, $1.14 billion).

According to a news report by Re/Code, IBM approached several companies, including Dell, HP, Cisco, Juniper and Fujitsu, to drum up any interest in the leftover assets. The New York-based firm, which is moving towards cognitive Big Data with Watson and also taking strides towards cloud computing, apparently sees the SDN unit as unimportant to the business.

A hot topic

Though SDN is a hot topic in networking, broad adoption of the technology is still only on the horizon for most. A survey conducted by eWeek discovered that less than 30 per cent of companies asked said that they had, or were planning to deploy, SDN.

A number of SDN startups have appeared in recent years, however, including BigSwitch and Nicira, while big vendors like HP, Dell and Cisco are working on their own brands of the tech.

Whether IBM's SDN business will be snapped up by another company remains to be seen, with one executive approached telling Re/Code that they needed to first understand what IBM were trying to sell and that the price tag Big Blue had set was rather optimistic.

IBM has recently announced that it will be investing over $1 billion on building global data centres and is also working on implementing its Watson technology in Big Data, analytics and applications. The company is evidently trying to solidify its position as a top shelf vendor, shedding parts of the business it deems unnecessary along the way.