The worldwide software-defined networking (SDN) market is forecast to experience strong growth over next several years, IDC said, adding that the market will grow at a CAGR of 53.9 percent from 2014 to nearly $12.5 billion in 2020.
The technology research firm said the SDN is now winning adoption in a growing number of enterprise datacenters across a broad range of vertical markets.
“Cloud computing and the 3rd Platform have driven the need for SDN, which will represent a market worth more than $12.5 billion in 2020,” said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure at IDC.
He added that the value of SDN will accrue increasingly to network-virtualization software and to SDN applications, including virtualized network and security services.
“Large enterprises are now realizing the value of SDN in the datacenter, but ultimately, they will also recognize its applicability across the WAN to branch offices and to the campus network,” Rohit concluded.
Under SDN, IDC said, the fastest growth will be found in the two software categories – the virtualization/control layer and SDN applications – which together will be worth approximately $5.9 billion.
IDC expects the virtualization/control layer software market to reach $2.4 billion in 2020, with a CAGR of nearly 64 percent during the forecast period.
SDN applications – including Layer 4-7 network and security services and analytics – are forecast to achieve a CAGR of 66 percent through 2020, when they will account for revenue of more than $3.5 billion.
“While networking hardware will continue to hold a prominent place in network infrastructure, SDN is indicative of a long-term value migration from hardware to software in the networking industry,” said Brad Casemore, Director of Research for Datacenter Networking at IDC.
“For vendors, this will portend a shift to software- and service-based business models, and for enterprise customers, it will mean a move toward a more collaborative approach to IT and a more business-oriented understanding of how the network enables application delivery,”