January 15, 2016

The Next 15 Years of SDN and NFV

Right now, software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are still comparatively new technologies. Since no new technology is new forever, a new report from ReportBuyer's look at the future of NFV and SDN should prove especially welcome for those evaluating such technologies.

The ReportBuyer report—titled “SDN, NFV & Network Virtualization Ecosystem: 2015 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts”—offers up a noteworthy look at the future, and makes some fairly exciting projections. One of the biggest such projections is that SDN and NFV investments are set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54 percent just between 2015 and 2020 alone. By the end of 2020, such tools will mean better than $20 billion in revenue.

From there, the report builds, noting that over 70 percent of all virtual network function (VNF) investments are related to IP multimedia subsystem (IMS), policy control, and virtualized evolved packet core (EPC) / mobile core systems. SDN is currently enjoying pride of place in the data center and in enterprise operations, but service providers are starting to come around to SDN as a means to manage a network. Orchestration programs are also expected to be a major point of spending, as this sector will account for just over nine percent of all SDN and NFV spending at the service provider level, roughly $2 billion in revenue by the end of 2020.

This isn't where the report stops, but rather only where it begins; it will offer up information on the projected size of the market by 2030, the trends and challenges impacting the market, NFV's impact on voice over LTE (VoLTE) developments and a host of other points.

The study predicts an exciting future; it's not surprising to hear reports of NFV and SDN taking off, because these are two fields with a lot of great potential applications. A field that can be put to work fairly quickly and yield benefits rapidly is attractive, but the field is still so comparatively new that many aren't sure as yet if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Some aren't even wholly sure what those risks are. The uncertainty is keeping many users out of the field, but that will likely change as more success stories arrive.

SDN and NFV are two very big changes in the field for IT staff, and putting these to work effectively will bring quite a bit of reward. Just how to do that may be one of the biggest challenges, but the farther along we go, the clearer it will be. The ReportBuyer report makes that particularly clear.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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