Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Will Unlock Billion Dollar Market in Asia Pacific by 2018: IDC

idcSingapore and Hong Kong, February 11, 2015 – The Software-Defined Networking (SDN) market will surpass the $1 billion mark by 2018 in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) alone, says International Data Corporation (IDC).


According to the latest technology assessment from IDC, the APEJ SDN market, consisting of spending from the enterprise and cloud service provider segments, will grow from $6.2 million in 2013 to over $1 billion by 2018.


Businesses are more closely correlated today with technology than ever and this will be a strong contributing factor to driving growth in the SDN market because of the benefits it brings to the table, says Surjyadeb Goswami, Research Manager, APEJ Enterprise Networking at IDC .


“End-users recognize the benefits of SDN, but are not jumping on the bandwagon aggressively, mainly as migration from a legacy platform to SDN is not straight forward.”


He explains that with IT buyers under the impression that the standards are still evolving, non-risk takers are deciding against investing in SDN in a big way. However this is only a temporary obstacle as the benefits are too important to ignore.


IDC believes ICT evolutions, such as storage and server virtualization will also naturally lead to the need for the networks to be virtualized and more efficiently controlled. That will lead to SDN becoming a game changer, providing key building blocks for delivering next generation network infrastructure to enterprise and hybrid, private, and public cloud services.


“Software-defined networking is a means to a desired goal, rather than an end or solution in its own. It is essentially an architectural model that can help to better align network infrastructure with the needs of application workloads through the delivery of automated provisioning; programmatic network management; application-oriented, network wide visibility; and smooth integration with cloud orchestration platforms”, says Goswami.


In addition, programmability enables external control and automation that allow for highly scalable, flexible networks that readily adapt to changing business needs.

SDN has emerged as a focal point for innovation and change in networking as the industry combats with multiple challenges faced in their datacenter network, be it for the cloud service providers or the enterprises. The emergence of SDN is on the back of factors that are driving the need for a network that is more flexible, agile, automated, simple, and seamless.

Some of the factors are:

  • Evolution of cloud into a comprehensive delivery vehicle for a wide range of enterprise applications
  • Ever changing demands of enterprise users utilizing cloud service providers
  • Rise of the 3rd Platform technologies, particularly cloud, mobility, Big Data, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications
  • Hybrid cloud as the norm for enterprises with requirements to port workloads between the private and public cloud environment

SDN is creating a lot of excitement in modern day’s datacenter networking infrastructure, mostly to address the challenges introduced with the rise of the 3rd platform.

“While most of the attention has been given in recent years toward SDN in service providers’ data center networks, as they strive to be the first movers, not to be forgotten is the potential for SDN in enterprise datacenter networks. Enterprises are interested in reaping the benefits of a more agile and simple network, but need more assistance from the professionals to get to the end point,” says Adeline Phua, Sr. Research Manager, Enterprise Networking at IDC Asia/Pacific.

IDC sees that the market is at a tipping point with significant opportunities for SDN in both cloud service provider rollouts and enterprise deployments in the APEJ region. Though enterprises are mostly testing waters today, evaluating the best use cases and planning for their investments bit by bit, IDC sees the potential of the enterprise segment in boosting the SDN market over the next several years in this region.

IDC recommends that vendors in the SDN ecosystem realize the differentiated SDN related needs from cloud providers and that of enterprises and build their approach accordingly.

“As Asia/Pacific enterprises start embracing SDN, leading networking and IT vendors in the ecosystem need to play a pivotal role in educating their channels and customers on their SDN migration roadmap; while the start-ups will continue to collaborate with other players in the ecosystem and bring in more innovative approach to address end-customer challenges in their SDN journey,” says Surjyadeb.

The IDC study, Building Business 2.0: Datacenter and Enterprise Networks in Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Are Gearing Up to Benefit from Software-Defined Networking (IDC #AP250878), takes a closer look at the rapidly evolving SDN market in APEJ and its associated ecosystem, while analyzing opportunities and challenges for cloud service providers and enterprise networks.


About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting