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Clifford Grossner, Ph.D.
Senior Research Director, Data Center, Cloud, and SDN
(408) 583-3385
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Vendor Market Share Up for Grabs as N. American Businesses Prepare to Turn Up SDN in the Data Center


Campbell, CALIFORNIA (February 27, 2015)—Technology market research firm Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), conducted in-depth surveys with 153 medium and large businesses in North America and found that 79 percent are planning to have software-defined networking (SDN) in live production in the data center in 2017.

Infonetics’ study, Data Center SDN Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey, provides new data on how the enterprise data center SDN market is evolving, including insights on the intent of enterprise buyers to help vendors determine how to invest in product development and position their products in the marketplace.

“We asked enterprises from which vendors they plan to source data center SDN hardware and software for the physical network, network OS, controller, orchestration software, applications, and virtual network overlays. Many will turn to incumbent network vendors, of course, but a big ‘a-ha’ moment for us was seeing how many plan to look to non-incumbent network vendors, including third-party SDN vendors, open source vendors, existing virtualization vendors and others,” Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at Infonetics Research, said.

“As SDN in the enterprise data center grows legs in 2015, thought leadership in this nascent market will give way to market share leaders with measurable revenue. Now is the time for existing and new vendors to grab market share. Respondents are moving from lab trials in 2015 to production trials in 2016 and to live production in 2017,” Grossner said.


  • Cisco by far (71 percent), then IBM, Juniper and VMware were named most by enterprises when asked whom they consider to be the top three SDN hardware or software vendors, a measure that reflects a vendor’s overall brand strength
  • 65 percent of survey respondents are currently conducting data center SDN lab trials or will do so in 2015
  • Respondents’ expectations for SDN in the data center are clear: they want better security, application performance, and simplified management — without causing network interruptions
  • Popular data center SDN use cases include automation for disaster recovery, provisioning, application deployment, and enabling hybrid cloud
  • Data center orchestration software represents one of the biggest opportunities for third-party SDN vendors and existing virtualization vendors


Infonetics’ 31-page SDN enterprise study analyzes the trends and assesses the needs of businesses deploying software-defined networking (SDN) in the data center. The survey delves into deployment drivers and barriers, rollout plans, applications, use cases, vendors installed and under evaluation, and top rated vendors. To purchase the report, contact



Download Infonetics’ 2015 service brochure or log in:


  • The Rise of Optical Data Center Networks (Watch now)
  • Choosing the Right SDN-NFV Orchestration Platform for the Job (Watch now)
  • Bare Metal Switching: Is It for Everyone? (Apr. 30: Learn More)
  • Software-Defined WAN for Agility and Cost Savings (June 16: Sponsor)


  • N. America (West), Asia Pacific: Larry Howard,, +1-408-583-3335
  • N. America (East, Midwest), L. America, EMEA: Scott Coyne,, +1-408-583-3395
  • Greater China, SE Asia, India: 大中华区 Jeffrey Song +86 21-3919-8505
  • Japan: 日本 Takashi Kimura, TAK Analytics +81 3-6408-5566

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IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. © 2015 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.

About Infonetics Research (

Infonetics Research, now part of IHS (NYSE: IHS), is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively. Follow Infonetics on Twitter for the latest headlines:

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"79% of surveyed enterprises are planning to have SDN in live production in the data center in 2017."

Cliff Grossner
Research Director
Data Center, Cloud, and SDN


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