Data center and enterprise LAN software-defined networking (SDN) deployments began to ramp in the first half of 2015 (1H15), reports IHS (NYSE: IHS) in its latest IHS Infonetics Data Center and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report. IHS forecasts the market for ‘in-use’ SDN Ethernet switches and controllers to top $1.4 billion this year, nearly doubling from last year.

“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 (SD-WAN) market. The SD-WAN market is still small, but many startups and traditional WAN optimization appliance vendors and network vendors have jumped in,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS.

“The data center and enterprise LAN SDN market will be solidified by the end of 2016 as lab trials give way to live production deployments. And in 2017, SDN will move from early adopters into the hands of mainstream buyers,” Grossner said.

Data Center / Enterprise SDN Market Highlights

In the first half of 2015 (1H15), bare metal switches accounted for 45% of global in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue

Looking at the leaders in individual SDN categories:

  • White box switch vendors, as a group, are #1 in bare metal switch revenue
  • Dell owns 100% of branded bare metal switch revenue
  • HP has the largest share of SDN-capable (in-use and not-in-use) branded Ethernet switch ports
  • In-use virtual switch (vSwitch) ports are expected to make up 11% of SDN (in-use and not-in-use) ports shipped by the end of 2015
  • SDN in-use physical Ethernet switches are forecast by IHS to comprise 15% of Ethernet switch market revenue in 2017, up from 4% today

DC And Enterprise SDN Report Synopsis

The biannual IHS Infonetics Data Center and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report provides worldwide and regional vendor market share, market size, forecasts, analysis and trends for SDN controllers, bare metal Ethernet switches and branded Ethernet switches in use for SDN. Notably, the report tracks and forecasts SDN controllers and Ethernet switches in-use for SDN separately from not-in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switches. Vendors tracked: Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Big Switch, Brocade, Centec, Cisco, Cumulus, Dell, Extreme, HP, Huawei, Juniper, Lenovo, Midokura, NEC, Pica8, Plexxi, PLUMgrid, VMware, White Box, others. This report is part of the IHS Data Center Networks Intelligence Service.