Worldwide Software-Defined Infrastructure Software Revenues Total $6.5 Billion in 1H21, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 3, 2021 — According to the International Data Corporation ( IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Software-Defined Infrastructure Tracker, the worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) software market reached $6.5 billion during the first half of the year in 2021, a 10.7% increase from same period in 2020. The three technology pillars that make up the SDI market are software-defined compute software (54% of total market value), software-defined storage controller software (35% of total market value), and software-defined networking software (10% 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 datacenters."

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, as long as 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 datacenter 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.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Software-Defined Infrastructure Tracker, please contact Greg Macatee at Email Contact.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly Excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

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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. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group ( IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

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