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Telecommunication providers reap benefits of SDN as market grows

According to a market forecast from SDN Central, the software-defined network market is poised to hit $25 billion annually by 2018, before reaching to as much as $35 billion per year. SDN Central noted that next year alone, the sector could grow by three-fold and will continue its expansion ten-fold by 2018.

In addition, current projections stated that spending on software-defined networking technology could reach up to 40% of total networking purchases. Transparency Market Research stated that as customers demand more mobile and efficient network services, as well as increase their needs for cloud services, service providers are responding by implementing more SDN technology, contributing to market growth.

Service provider benefits of SDN technology

A number of organizations have recently implemented SDN solutions, including DukeNet Communications and Verizon Communications. Last December, DukeNet performed a SDN proof-of-concept demonstration to show SDN orchestration within the data center and wide-area network. Additionally, Verizon announced a partnership with Hitachi Data Systems for the development of a software-defined storage system utilizing the Hitachi Content Platform for the Verizon Cloud.

However, as illustrated by the predicted market growth figures, these companies are not the only organizations implementing SDN solutions into their businesses. Such technology can offer a number of benefits for telecommunication service providers beyond the ability to provide best-in-class services to their customers.

In addition to responding to client needs and boosting service capabilities, Contify contributor Deepak Kumar also noted that such systems can serve to optimize the vendor’s infrastructure as well. As the technology advances, more resources will become available for utilization by the SDN control platform, further optimizing telecom traffic distribution. Kumar also stated that greater benefits could be in store for telecommunication providers if they work with their infrastructure vendors.

“[T]he greatest benefit of SDNs could be realized if telcos and their infrastructure providers could find a way to include any significant volume of existing network elements into an SDN fold,” Kumar wrote.

Another key benefit of SDN systems is that they provide the means for organizations to automate specific sectors of their network at first as a way to ease into the transition. According to Network Computing, some groups have utilized a network overlay strategy to improve connectivity.

“The big question is do you have to buy into SDN whole hog … or can you make this transition in a more gradual fashion?” said 451 Research chief analyst Eric Hanselman. “Fortunately, it’s not something that you have to do all in one shot.”

As noted by the recent market research, cloud demands are one of the main aspects driving SDN adoption and overall sector growth. SDN technologies can advance and bolster telco’s cloud services, as well as improve the data center assets supporting these offerings. Telcos can implement SDN on the wide area networks linking service provider data centers to make facilities more agile.

One of the most attractive benefits of SDN deployment is the enhanced customer satisfaction that the systems can provide.

“By virtue of the rapid and transparent provisioning of services and network resources that SDN promises to accomplish, it has the potential to create customer delight,” Kumar wrote.

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