The global carrier SDN and NFV hardware and software market is expected to grow from less than $500 million in 2013 to over $11 billion in 2018 of which 20% will comprise brand new SDN/NFV softwares, according to Infonetics Research. The Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) segment, including ports on routers, switches, and optical gears that have become SDN-capable are projected to make up the largest slice of the SDN and NFV pie, growing to 68% in 2018.
The leading market research firm via its Carrier SDN and NFV Hardware and Software report noted that NFV will take a lion's share of the combined SDN and NFV market, from 2014 through 2018. Within the NFV, the Virtualized Network Function (VNF) applications are expected to dominate with a share of 90% while the remaining 10% is attributable to NFV orchestration and control software.
There are a number of key network components that are expected to go through the virtualization path, mainly the core network elements that enable enhanced service offerings and network capabilities, which include Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) , Evolved Packet Core (EPC), IP multimedia subsystem (IMS), and security.