As SDN matures and finds its way into the data center, I am most interested in its potential effect on network applications and services. The idea that applications can run on top of an abstraction layer, and not have to care about the network plumbing that delivers it, is very exciting. Within the Data Center Appliance market that I track, I have been looking at the progressive effect of SDN on the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) portion of the market.
This slide shows the percentage of the ADC market that could potentially be affected by SDN. It represents how much of the ADC market revenues will likely be attributable to, or incorporate some, SDN functionality. We see a slight jump in 2013 as much more development has been underway. We further expect to see an evolutionary process where new SDN functionality is introduced by various companies, and those features that are most compelling will be incorporated into both new and existing product platforms. Then the process will repeat, until we see a more or less standardized SDN approach to ADCs. There will, of course, still be an opportunity to differentiate, but this will likely happen when we see a more mature product—we anticipate this resulting in another jump in the 2017 timeframe.