The market for Software Defined Networking (SDN) is red hot and growing even faster than expected.
Earlier this year, IDC forecast that the SDN market could be worth $2.0 Billion by 2016. For 2013, IDC's May Forecast pegged the SDN market at $168 million.
Fast forward to December and IDC is now upping the forecast.
IDC is now stating that the SDN market will be worth $360 million in 2013, more than double the forecast from earlier this year. By 2016, IDC now expects the SDN market to grow to $3.7 Billion.
"For many of the SDN-related solution providers, some of them still in stealth-mode, 2013 is likely to be a year of reckoning," said Brad Casemore, Research Director for Datacenter Networks, in a statement.
In 2012, multiple SDN vendors emerged and made headline. Big Switch Networks debuted its commercial products during the year. Big Switch is led by Guido Appenzeller, who helped to launch the SDN revolution while at Stanford University.
While startups are likely to help fuel SDN growth, the trend is also having a significant impact on traditional networking vendors as well. Cisco launched its Cisco ONE effort this year and company management has been aggressively pushing the strategy.
Both HP and Juniper have also been vocal about their effort in the SDN space as well. Juniper recently acquired Contrail Networks.
As to why SDN is gaining rapidly, IDC has a few ideas.
"SDN's ability to decouple network logic and policies from the underlying network equipment allows for a more programmable network," said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure at IDC in a statement. "Providing better alignment with the underlying applications, this programmability allows for greater levels of flexibility, innovation, and control in the network.
Mehra added that, "logic and policies that can be defined, changed, and modified result in a more dynamic network, providing the scale network administrators so desperately crave."