The software-defined networking (SDN) market is expected to soar in size to $2 billion by 2016. Growth this fast may very well signify that SDN is the third epoch of computer networking, which will change everything. Large and small firms will be able to compete with established players like Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent by rapidly adding software features to low-cost merchant-silicon-based network products. And there is the promise of Stanford University’s OpenFlow protocol.
This report provides the big ideas motivating a systemic change of the computer-networking industry, and it includes 10 observations and assessments that will guide readers toward open networking.