It might not be long before software-defined networking (SDN) is a household term.
A new report from International Data Corp. (IDC) says that the worldwide SDN market for the enterprise and cloud service-provider segments will grow from $960 million this year to a staggering $8 billion by 2018. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 90 percent.
IDC’s forecast includes in-use physical network infrastructure, controller and network-virtualization software, SDN network and security services and related applications, and SDN-related professional services.
Software-defined networking is a nascent architectural model capable of delivering automated provisioning, network virtualization and network programmability to data centers and enterprise networks. SDN has emerged as a key driver for innovation and change in networking as several market and technology factors converge, including growth of cloud applications and services; a focus on converged infrastructures and on the software-defined data center; lessons learned about the benefits and best practices of server virtualization; and increase demand for network flexibility.
"SDN is taking center stage among innovative approaches to some of the networking challenges brought about by the rise of the 3rd Platform, particularly virtualization and cloud computing," said Rohit Mehra, VP, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "With SDN's growing traction in the data center for cloud deployments, enterprise IT is beginning to see the value in potentially extending SDN to the WAN and into the campus to meet the demand for more agile approaches to network architecture, provisioning, and operations."
IDC sees significant near-term opportunities for SDN in both cloud service-provider rollouts and enterprise deployments. Although enterprises are largely still testing the waters to see what benefits will accrue from SDN, IDC sees the enterprise market as a major driver of overall SDN growth over the next several years.
Among the use cases for SDN are Web scaling for hosting/public cloud providers; private/hybrid cloud deployments; network programmability/customization; and security applications.
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