IHS forecast shows SDN deployments ramping up in 2015


Software defined networking (SDN) will move from early adopters into the hands of mainstream buyers by 2017, according to the latest research note from IDS.

The findings, which appear in the latest IHS Infonetics Data Centre and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report, also show the market for ‘in use’ SDN Ethernet switches – ostensibly the real market for SDN, compared with the Ethernet switches that lie dormant – at $1.4 billion this year, nearly doubling from last year.

During the first half of 2015, bare metal switches comprised almost half (45%) of global in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue. Dell garners 100% of branded bare metal switch revenue, while HP has the largest share of SDN-capable – both in use and not in use – branded Ethernet switch ports.

Cliff Grossner, research director for data centre, cloud and SDN at IHS, notes the continued acceleration in the marketplace. “New SDN use cases continue to emerge, and the first half of 2015 was no exception with the establishment of the software defined enterprise WAN market,” he said. “The SD-WAN market is still small, but many startups and traditional WAN optimisation appliance vendors and network vendors have jumped in.”

SD-WAN is a natural progression from SDN, theoretically benefiting wide area networking as it allows businesses to mix and match their WAN network types, better utilising their network resources. As Cahit Akin, CEO of Mushroom Networks points out, VoIP packets can be sent with better quality and reliability by optimising the WAN network through software-configured algorithmic nodes to stop latency and jitter.

In June, IHS released a note which forecast the in use software defined networking market would hit $13bn by 2019, up from 2014’s figure of $781m.