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The market demand for software-defined network (SDN) technologies in the enterprise sector has not matured and grown as much as the hype might suggest. Ovum research found that in 2015 on average less than 12% of respondents (Ovum Enterprise Insights Survey 2014/15 n=5062) reported they are planning to install SDN technologies over the next 18 months. In this report the leading vendor solutions are evaluated in each of the main different approaches to SDN deployment, where solutions are available.


  • SDN remains on the CIO to-do list.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand why the SDN market has focused on the layer 2/3 network with the controller and overlay approaches, and why this is only part of the complete SDN landscape.
  • Understand why the Ovum model for enterprise SDN deployment categorizes the market into four current approaches.

Key questions answered

  • Why will SDN force a dramatic shift in roles and responsibilities of current and future employees when used as part of a software defined approach to technology management?
  • Why does the Ovum model for enterprise SDN deployment categorize the market into four current approaches?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

SDN remains on the CIO to-do list

  • Putting SDN in context
  • Global technology trends are focused on transforming capability
  • Regional differences show the deployment picture remains confused

Different approaches to SDN make selecting the technology a challenge

  • Ovum’s model for SDN deployment

General market overview

  • The market landscape for the controller-based approach sees all vendors market solutions as SDN
  • The market landscape for software-based (overlay) approach marketing message claims to be the fastest growing approach
  • The market landscape for services-based approach represents a disruptive approach to SDN deployment
  • The market landscape for hybrid approach remains work in progress

Leading vendor solutions

  • Brocade
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • HPE
  • Huawei
  • Juniper Networks
  • VMware NSX


  • Further reading
  • Author

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