SDN FEATURE NEWS

Managed Security Services Stand to Benefit Big With SDN and NFV

By Steve Anderson March 30, 2016

It's well-known by now that software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have some great potential for cutting costs and offering more capability for businesses. This general observation recently got a little more specific in an IHS Technology report that showed some big new benefits coming for managed security services thanks to these new technologies.

Managed security services were already on an upward track, the report noted, as the field accounted for $17.4 billion in 2015. That was up nine percent from 2014, and over the next five years, the market should add another third its current levels. The lion's share of revenue—54 percent—came from customer premises equipment (CPE) services, and cloud-based offerings kicked in the remainder. By 2020, this ratio is expected to reverse outright thanks in larger part to SDN and NFV.

The use of SDN and NFV to deploy managed security services will help drive sales here, especially as virtual CPE solutions come more readily into play. That's making some project that CPE service revenue will grow as well, but perhaps not as quickly as cloud-based will. With cloud-based security services up 12 percent over 2014's figures, and an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nine percent until 2020, there's a lot of room in this market.

Content security was to be the biggest part of this market, with managed firewall services, intrusion detection and prevention, distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection and other services rounding out the top five, though not necessarily in that order. IHS Technology's cybersecurity research director Jeff Wilson noted that the long term market seemed “strong” for such services, and also noted “The availability of a new generation of virtual CPE services driven by NFV will enable carriers to deliver services to the customer edge on a common hardware platform capable of running virtual machines. While common wisdom says the transition to the cloud and cloud services for security will overwhelm CPE, there’s still a play for on-premises services, even in a virtualized world.”

There will always be companies who, as a matter of doctrinal stance, want to maintain control over systems currently in place, deciding the pace of updates and upgrades and how security is addressed. So on-premises systems will always have at least some place at the table. However, a lot of companies—particularly smaller firms—are making the jump to cloud-based systems thanks to the subscription-based nature of service provision. Throw in SDN and NFV's effects in cloud service delivery and that means a lot more options for going cloud. Thus SDN and NFV can be a big help in driving managed security services and even sometimes provide more opportunities for their use as well.

It's a big market ahead for managed security services, thanks in part to SDN and NFV. It's only thanks in part, though, and a diversified market makes for a better likelihood of achieving targeted gains.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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