Worldwide software-defined infrastructure software revenues total $US6.5B

Worldwide Software-Defined Infrastructure Software Revenues Total $US6.5 billion in 1H21

According to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Semiannual Software-Defined Infrastructure Tracker, the worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) software market reached $US6.5 billion during the first half of the year in 2021, a 10.7 per cent increase from same period in 2020. The three technology pillars that make up the SDI market are software-defined compute software (54 per cent of total market value), software-defined storage controller software (35 per cent of total market value), and software-defined networking software (10 per cent of total market value).

“Following a challenging year in 2020 when heavy business uncertainty weighed on results, at least by historical performance standards, the SDI market fared much better during the first half of this year,” said Greg Macatee, senior research analyst, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies Group at IDC. “We observed acceleration in the SDI market as enterprises have started to return to more normal IT spending patterns and invest in software-defined technologies to transform and modernize their datacentres.”

IDC’s Software-Defined Infrastructure Software Definitions

Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) refers to logically pooled resources of compute, memory, storage, and networking, which are managed by software with minimal human intervention. SDI systems are independent of the underlying hardware if the hardware meets certain technical specifications. The underlying hardware in SDI systems are industry-standard, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products that have enterprise-grade certifications. While a complete SDI solution will include software and hardware, this IDC SDI market sizing focuses only on the value of the software. The SDI market can be segmented into three core submarkets: software-defined compute, software-defined networking, and software-defined storage. Abbreviated definitions for each of these submarkets follow.

Software-defined compute (SDC) software virtualizes groups of physical compute nodes into a single logical compute resource. This abstraction of physical resources allows computations to occur in any COTS hardware that is part of the logical pool of resources. SDC is implemented at various layers of the software stack and can be used in public/private clouds and virtualized environments. SDC software, which includes both open source and commercial software, is often bundled with other infrastructure software, management software, and application platforms. SDC software can be broadly categorized into three areas: virtual machine software (i.e., hypervisor software), container infrastructure software, and cloud system software.

Software-defined storage controller software (SDS-CS) represents a complete storage software stack that delivers a full suite of storage services in conjunction with COTS hardware to create a complete storage system. For any solution to be included within the software-defined storage controller software functional market, it needs to be extensible and autonomous and allow data access via known and/or published interfaces (APIs or standard file, block, or object interfaces). The solution is a standalone system or an autonomous system. In other words, it provides all essential northbound storage services and handles all southbound data persistence functions without requiring additional hardware or software. SDS solutions should offer a full suite of data access interfaces, storage, and data management services. SDS solutions may be delivered in multiple forms such as appliances, software, and subscription-based offerings. Software-defined storage solutions include discrete storage systems (i.e., external storage) designed to provide only storage-specific services or as converged solutions that combine all compute and storage services into a single, scale-out solution (i.e., hyperconverged infrastructure).

Network virtualization and SDN controller software is made up of network virtualization overlays and SDN controllers used in datacentre networks. Both overlays and controllers bring alternate SDN architectures to the network, supporting multiple protocols and southbound/northbound interfaces/APIs. Network virtualization overlays are logical, virtual networks that run over (on top of) physical network infrastructure. SDN controller software also runs on top of physical network infrastructure (residing between applications and the network), providing logically centralized network control and a means for application policy to be enacted across the network. It can also facilitate automated network management and networkwide visibility.



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