In SDN, while the human operator will set policy decisions, the SDN control plane executes the changes to the network in what should be a more consistent manner, and one that is less dependent on any specific intervention by a human operator.
Given the pressing need to move beyond legacy networking architectures and the wide-ranging benefits SDN promises to deliver, it is easy to see why the market for SDN is expected to grow rapidly.
IDC research shows that the SDN market is currently in its infancy, with product sales of reaching approximately US$360 million worldwide this year. It is expected to reach US$3.7 billion by 2016, with 58 percent of this investment related to data network control and infrastructure hardware and software.
It is therefore not surprising that all major ICT infrastructure vendors are already designing strategies and positioning themselves in the SDN market. And, with SDN predicted to become a major force in the next two years, the market is creating many new startups that are hoping to drive the market or form part of some larger vendor's SDN strategy.
SDN Key Innovations: Programmable at Application and Virtualisation Level
2. Flow-oriented data plan - Simplified planning, global optimisation, offline analysis
3. Centralised control and management - Multi-tenancy and infrastructure sharing
4. Hardware virtualisation and abstraction - Truly tunable resources and improved performance
5. Programmable networks - Application-oriented networking
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