IBM is betting SDE is the future, just read http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/40726.wss
"Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an approach to network design and management that moves the control of network switches – which forward data through an enterprise – from the switches to an extensible software platform with open interfaces. By doing so, administrators can easily manage and change the priorities of switches remotely to accelerate, moderate or block certain types of data from flowing through their network. The result is greater enterprise performance, scalability and security.
The IBM Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments (SDN VE) is a virtual overlay network solution that automates and speeds the process of setting up such SDN networks. In addition, SDN VE enables network administrators to speed up traditionally time-consuming tasks such as network provisioning from days to hours."
IBM is also using SDE techniques with its PureSystems http://www.ibm.com/ibm/puresystems/us/en/index.html to improve efficiency and flexibility. If you want to deploy an application on a new virtual machine it is all done in software.