Forecast: Data center and enterprise SDN market to exceed $3B by 2017

Infonetics Research asks, 'What’s the real market for SDN?'

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Infonetics Research has published its new Data Center and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report, which defines and sizes the market for software-defined networks (SDN). Notably, the report tracks and forecasts SDN controllers and Ethernet switches in-use for SDN (i.e. the ‘real’ market for SDN, according to the researcher) separately from SDN-capable Ethernet switches. The report also includes SDN market analysis, trends, vendor announcements, and a tracker of SDN products currently shipping.

“The important question that everyone wants answered is, ‘What’s the real market for SDN?’,” comments Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research. “It’s still early days, but our research over the last two years confirms that SDN controllers and Ethernet switches in-use for SDN will play a role in enterprise and data center networks, growing to a $3.1 billion market by 2017.”

According to Infonetics Research, SDN is going through a classic market adoption cycle, "with many new entrants looking to gain a toe-hold, and the majority of enterprises still kicking the tires." According to the report, vendors shipping SDN products in 2013 include Alcatel-Lucent, Big Switch, Brocade, Cisco, Cumulus, Dell, Extreme, HP, Huawei, IBM, Juniper, Midokura, NEC, Pica8, Plexxi, Plumgrid, VMware and others. “Wide scale in-use SDN deployments will occur first in the data center with large enterprises and cloud service providers, followed closely by the enterprise LAN,” continues Grossner. “We’re already seeing significant use cases for SDN in the enterprise LAN providing security and unification of wired and wireless networks, and enabling BYOD [bring your own device].”

The report states that the few early deployments for SDN -- including Google, NTT, AT&T, Verizon, DT, BT, and China Mobile -- are in large data centers of cloud service providers and large enterprises. The data also reveals that 10% of Ethernet switches will be in-use for SDN by 2017, and that while North America is where SDN got its start, the region will claim nearly 50% SDN revenue market share through 2017. For more information, visit

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