Forecast: sizing the software-defined networking market

1Executive Summary

There is no question that the software-defined networking (SDN) arena is a hotbed of new ideas, well-funded startups, and established vendor SDN architectures. However, there is a significant question about how much future revenue the SDN market can create. VMware’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Nicira (an SDN startup with minimal current revenues) speaks volumes about the potential market size. Relatively small revenue streams in 2012 show that SDN needs to increase its acceptance to truly impact the broad IT market.

This report focuses on the market for the enterprise adoption of SDN. This includes businesses of all sizes and SDN implementations in their branch, campus, and data center networks.

There are two big challenges with regard to forecasting the enterprise market for SDN:

  • How quickly and for what applications will business customers adopt SDN products?
  • What products (hardware, software, and services) are included as part of an SDN market?

This report tackles the key issues with regard to SDN taxonomy, forecast assumptions, and market segmentation. This report does not address the related topic of software-defined networks (SDN) in the telecommunications network, with the exception of communications service providers (CSPs), which need to transform their data centers and data center networks.

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Lee Doyle

Principal Analyst Doyle Research

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