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SDN and NFV to Drive Huge Growth in Virtual Security Appliances

By Steve Anderson November 11, 2014

There's been quite a bit of growth lately in both software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), mostly because these are comparatively new technologies that are starting to find a place in the overall ecosystem. But one perhaps unexpected point was spelled out in a report from Infonetics Research, noting an expected major spike in sales of virtual security appliances thanks to the rise of these two new technologies.

The report in question, Infonetics' “Data Center Security Products”, follows the growth patterns of technologies related to the security of the data center, and thanks in part to a series of high-profile hackings like those seen recently, reports suggest that the total market for virtual security appliances will better than double in the time frame between 2013 and 2018, reaching a combined total of $1.17 billion by the end of that range. Indeed, both SDN and NFV-compatible security solutions are expected to shake up the entire landscape when it comes to growth in the sector, causing consolidation in a field populated by a variety of players ranging from security firms to hypervisor vendors and other specialists.

Further, the Infonetics report suggests that revenue for data center security appliances is likely to increase, hitting $2.7 billion by 2018, and that the overall market share for data center security appliances will actually prove to be close to the market share for security solutions in general, with firms like McAfee, Cisco and Fortinet leading the way.

Infonetics Research's principal analyst for security, Jeff Wilson, offered up some comment on the issue, saying, “Enterprises and service providers are upgrading data centers to support huge increases in traffic and handle the massive waves of attacks they face every day. As a result, we foresee a growth spike in virtual appliance revenue starting in 2016 due to the deployment of the next generation of network infrastructure using SDN and NFV over the next year and a half.”

Security, of late, has been front-of-mind for a great many users, ranging from regular users on home devices to major enterprise efforts, and with good reason. The sheer number of hackings taking place in the last couple of years—not to mention the sheer size of same—has proven to be an effective wake-up call for providing security in the data center and beyond.  It's not surprising that SDN and NFV are playing a new role in that security, especially given the technology's overall ability to help improve network infrastructure and make systems a little easier to handle. Less complex systems often mean for an easier time spotting problems in said systems, and that's a development that's hard to ignore.

But regardless of the particular reason that SDN and NFV are being brought more into data center security operations, the key takeaway here is that said technologies will be part of the picture for some time to come. Chances are, many companies are already considering the impact of these two on the wider overall picture, and if the word from Infonetics Research is any indication, the impact is likely to be a positive one indeed.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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