The success of software-defined networking (SDN) is dependent on the development of an ecosystem to supply systems, software and hardware solutions to support virtual and physical switches in SDN environments. This ecosystem has now reached critical mass, allowing carriers and service providers to start deploying SDN solutions across a range of service applications and hardware platforms. Many of these solutions are also applicable to network functions virtualization (NFV).
SDN is already having a major impact on the way carriers and service providers plan future network deployments. The benefits promised by SDN include lower capex through the use of standard hardware and lower opex through the dramatic increase in flexibility and simplification of the control plane. Telecom equipment providers are upgrading solutions and developing new systems to support SDN and deliver these benefits.