Worldwide SDN market to reach $8b

Software Defined Network gives new opportunities for Datacentre networks
Yarob Sakhnini, regional director, MEMA at Brocade
Yarob Sakhnini, regional director, MEMA at Brocade
Den Sullivan, head of Enterprise and Architectures for Cisco Middle East, Africa and Russia
Den Sullivan, head of Enterprise and Architectures for Cisco Middle East, Africa and Russia


Software-defined networking (SDN) continues to gain ground within the broader enterprise and cloud service provider markets for data centre networking.

The worldwide SDN market for the enterprise and cloud service provider segments will grow from $960 million in 2014 to over $8 billion by 2018, representing a robust CAGR of 89.4%, according to a new forecast from IDC.

This forecast for the SDN ecosystem includes in-use physical network infrastructure, controller and network-virtualisation software, SDN network and security services and related applications, and SDN-related professional services.

“SDN is taking centre stage among innovative approaches to some of the networking challenges brought about by the rise of the 3rd Platform, particularly virtualisation and cloud computing,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure at IDC.

“With SDN’s growing traction in the data centre for cloud deployments, enterprise IT is beginning to see the value in potentially extending SDN to the WAN and into the campus to meet the demand for more agile approaches to network architecture, provisioning, and operations,” Mehra added.

David Tomalin, CTO EMEA at Ciena highlights the benefits of SDN: “SDN offers a more agile and intelligent service provider network that can be programmed to allocate bandwidth from a shared pool of resources where and when capacity is needed. It enhances functions across all the network layers; the infrastructure layer – the transport and switching network elements; the network control layer (or SDN controller) — the software that configures the infrastructure layer to accommodate valid service demands; and the application layer — the service-creation/delivery software that determines required network connectivity — such as the cloud orchestrator.

Yarob Sakhnini, regional director, MEMA at Brocade, said that data centres have grown to comprise of a huge number of physical devices to create a network.

“When organisations need to support faster connections, more connections, bigger data sets, or more applications, the traditional approach has been to add more devices which over time turned out to be less efficient, complex, less cost-effective and less reliable. Virtualisation has emerged as a way of managing devices better and this is a technology that has progressed beyond the hype into the actual deployment phase,” he continued.

Den Sullivan, head of Enterprise and Architectures for Cisco Middle East, Africa and Russia, agrees with this research and commented: “Globally, many large institutions, university systems, and state governments are adopting converged data centre architectures to optimise application availability while reducing costs – and we expect the MEA region to quickly adopt SDN.”

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