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Software-Defined Networking Set for Massive Growth

Software-defined networking (SDN) is gaining momentum and is forecast to experience a massive increase in adoption by data centers and enterprise networks, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp., which predicts that "the worldwide SDN market for the enterprise and cloud service provider segments will grow from $960 million in 2014 to over $8 billion by 2018."

The report, "SDN Momentum Builds in Datacenter and Enterprise Networks," examines the SDN market and ecosystem and provides analysis of the opportunities and challenges associated with SDN that may be of particular interest to data center and enterprise network managers. The forecast covers in-use physical network infrastructure, controller and network-virtualization software, SDN network and security services and related applications and SDN-related professional services.

According to IDC, factors contributing to the growth of SDN include:

  • Increased adoption of cloud applications and services;
  • Focus on converged infrastructures for computing, storage and networking as well on the software-defined data center;
  • Experience with benefits and best practices of server virtualization; and
  • Demand for network flexibility to support cloud, mobility, big data and Internet of things (IoT) applications, also known as "3rd Platform" technologies.

IDC identifies the following use cases for SDN:

  • Web scaling for hosting and public cloud providers;
  • Private and hybrid cloud deployments;
  • Network programmability and customization; and
  • Security applications.

"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, vice president, network infrastructure at IDC, in a prepared statement. "With SDN's growing traction in the datacenter 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."

The full report is available for purchase from IDC. Further information can be found on IDC's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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