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Cisco and Nokia are top SDN vendors, claims research

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Cisco is the leading supplier of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) solutions, according to a new survey of telecoms operators by market research firm IHS Markit.

The final IHS report rates SDN and NFV manufacturers on nine criteria, based on interviews with telecoms firms that have deployed, or are scheduled to deploy, SDN and NFV based solutions.

More telecoms operators named Cisco, or its NFV subsidiary Tail-f, among the top three providers of SDN orchestration software than any other vendor brand.

Nokia ranked second for unaided brand awareness, followed, in order, by Ciena, Juniper and Huawei. Cisco and Nokia were also top for SDN hardware and “software under evaluation,” said IHS.

Michael Howard, Senior Research Director at IHS, said: “Over three-quarters of our operator respondents will use telecom equipment manufacturers, among other supplier types, to supply SDN hardware and software for their networks.

“Carriers envision a world of multi-supplier SDN and NFV, with centralised orchestration of network services and equipment, and new control mechanisms and network architectures. They’ll use a variety of suppliers to avoid vendor lock-in.”

Product reliability, service and support, technology innovation, price-to-performance ratio and management software are the top considerations for operators looking to buy SDN solutions, according to IHS.

IHS said last month the value of the global NFV market, including hardware, software and services, will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 42 percent from $2.7 billion in 2015 to $15.5 billion by 2020.

The SDN market for telecoms providers, meanwhile, will jump by an average of 98 percent per year in the same period.

Orange recently demonstrated with both Cisco and Nokia how NFV and SDN capabilities can be delivered in on-demand networks using solutions from multiple vendors.

Cisco launched NFV solution in February it claims can reduce the total cost of ownership of network infrastructure by as much as 40 percent.