Improvements in Cloud Platform Integration, Analytics and Open System Architectures Drive Growth of SDN in Data Centers

The pace of innovation and adoption of SDN solutions in service provider data centers in the latter part of 2015 was brisk

ACG Research has released its 4Q2015 report for purchases of software-defined networking software and SDN enabled underlay networking platforms in service providers’ data centers. Purchases of SDN software for operators’ data centers increased more than 70% year-on-year to $52 million, and use of SDN in white box, brite box, and hybrid physical underlay networks increased at a similar rate. Revenue for SDN-enabled physical underlay platforms sold into SPs’ data centers grew to $456 million in 4Q2015. Deployments in private, hybrid and public cloud computing data centers and in web-scale application sites dominated adoption, and use of SDN in early stage NFV initiatives is gaining momentum.

AGG’s SDN research focuses on two closely related and complementary tracks: SDN in service provider data centers and SDN in service provider transport and multi-layer networks and addresses the dynamics in each domain distinctly and yet within a unifying point of view about the development of SDN in the industry overall.

“Operators are drawn to the agility, efficiency and flexibility of SDN in their deployments.The value of SDN’s open architectures, programmability and automated operations are growing in appeal. The economics are compelling,” says Paul Parker-Johnson, principal analyst at ACG Research. “Unified physical and virtual fabrics, enhanced visibility and analytics, enhanced integration with cloud management platforms, and extending functionality of software at every level of SDN are the areas of focus capturing new innovations, differentiation, and adoption.”

Companies making announcement indicative of these trends in the latter part of 2015 included Accton Technologies with its Cavium-based OCP 100 Gbps data center switch, Big Switch Networks with its BCF 3.0 unified P+V fabric, Juniper with its disaggregated software offering for data center infrastructures, Nuage with its Virtualized Services Assurance Platform and Plumgrid with its Cloud Apex SDN Visualization software.

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