Surge in Carrier SDN Spending Forecast by IHS-Infonetics Lead Analyst


As service providers seek service agility and operational efficiency in their networks to stay competitive, the global market for carrier software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware and services is expected to grow from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019, according to IHS.

“We’re still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN. Momentum is strong, but we won’t see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of — let alone whole — networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020,” said Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS.


  • SDN software — including network apps, such as traffic analytics, and orchestration and controller software — is the critical piece that will convert a network into a software-defined network
  • IHS predicts service providers around the world will increase their spending on SDN software by 15 times from 2015 to 2019
  • Due to the newness of SDN technology and the fundamental changes it brings to networks, there is an incredible demand for expertise to design, deploy and operate SDN-based services, and carriers are looking to vendors for this expertise
  • IHS expects outsourced services for SDN projects to grow at a 2014–2019 CAGR of 199%





The 2015 IHS Infonetics Carrier SDN Hardware, Software, and Services market size and forecast report, led by analyst Michael Howard, examines the markets and trends related to building service provider software-defined networks. Specifically, the report tracks software that provides orchestration, controller and application functions; outsourced services for SDN projects; and hardware in use for SDN networks, including routers, switches, WDM and video content delivery network (CDN) equipment, and other telecom equipment controlled by SDN orchestration and controllers, such as CPE.

To purchase the report, please visit

Editor’s Note:  SDN is not necessarly an open network!

Contrary to popular belief, SDN does not always imply an “open network.”  That’s because most of the SDN implementations are, in fact, proprietary extensions of network equipment vendor boxes (e.g. Cisco, Juniper, Arista Networks, etc).  There is no mutli-vender interoperability other than when using accepted tunneling protocols like VxLAN for the network virtualization/overlay model.  Is that SDN?  Purists and the ONF say NO!  Vendors that implement it (many) say YES!

The latest poll from the Open Network User Group (ONUG) found that  71% of respondents characterized their network(s) as “A Little Open or Not at All.”   See reerence below or click here for ONUG’s Market Perspective of Open Cloud Infrastructure.

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