Author: the enterprise network Cao Jianju (…

According to IDC’s 2018 report, the global SDN(data center network) market has reached $12 billion, of which the software segment is $8.3 billion. The SDN market is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 47% from 2016 to 2022. With such a growth rate, the global SDN market will reach $70.41 billion by 2024, according to a new report released by market Research and analysis firm Grand View Research.

The SDN market is becoming clearer

In fact, judging from the trend of technology development, there is always a period of practice testing from the birth of a technology concept to the implementation of its application. In 2019, the landing of SDN technology seems to have been well verified. At least in the view of Qi Yahuan, the founder and CEO of Spruce Network, the SDN market has become increasingly clear and the market has a clear budget. In contrast to the jittery past few years, the Spruce network’s revenue has been growing at a threefold rate in each of the last three years.

Above: Qi Ya Xuan, founder and CEO of Spruce Network

Founded 8 years ago, Spruce Network takes “technology to create value” as its vision. However, Qi has a very clear understanding of technology: Spruce is really good at technology, and spent the first five years studying SDN technology, hoping to become the best SDN enterprise in China. But technology doesn’t necessarily create value. The value is reflected in two aspects: first, customers’ needs are becoming more and more clear, and SDN technology can find its place in the enterprise; Second, the supplier has mature SDN products to help customers solve their existing problems. So it’s a process of moving technology into business.

Qi once believes that the SDN market is becoming more and more clear, mainly manifested in the following three aspects:

1. From the perspective of trend, both IDC reports and Gartner reports have a clear definition and outlook for SDN, and the industry has a good forecast for SDN;

2. From the perspective of real enterprise applications, the revenue of VMware on SDN has reached more than $1 billion and is expected to reach $2 billion in 2019. Huawei, Cisco and other enterprises have also achieved exponential growth. In addition, some former network management and switch manufacturers are also transferring to SDN.

3. From the perspective of the market, the current data center network is basically cloud. The scale of public cloud is about 100 billion, and the scale of private cloud is expected to reach 100 billion. The public cloud will generally build its own SDN, while the private cloud investment of 100 billion yuan, at least 20% of the budget will be invested in the network field, the network investment is generally half hardware and half software, therefore, the SND software market will reach about 10 billion. In addition, the revenue of network services on the public cloud is also a large market.

Previously, the real market size of SDN existed only in research institutions. Two years ago, I could not have calculated it. But now the math is pretty clear. No matter from the pricing of the final product, or from the scale of the market, the scale of equipment providers, the SDN market of 20 billion yuan is very predictable.”

SDN Path Debate: Who Is in Charge?

In fact, since the development of SDN today, in addition to the market availability, the dispute over the path has always been the focus. Cisco, Huawei and other hardware equipment manufacturers have funds, customers and understand the needs of customers. It seems that they only need to find top technical research and development personnel to study SDN technology. Traditional software manufacturers, such as VMware and Microsoft, should have no problem in the research and development of SDN, a software-oriented technology. But the fact is that, in addition to the above two types, SDN start-ups represented by Spruce Network have also created a market of their own.

Mr. Qt once said that the market will eventually make a choice. The focus of the debate over the path of SDN is the question of who has the final say in the data center network market. Cisco and Huawei started with hardware, which is their absolute advantage, so most of their software design also controls their own hardware devices. SDN technology is software-defined network, and naturally cannot be closed. The biggest advantage of world-class software service providers such as VMware and Microsoft is virtualization. Its SDN strategy requires customers to install their own operating system, but most Chinese enterprises use Linux and OpenStack, etc., which is the real demand of customers.

Spruce can control multiple devices and supports Linux, OpenStack and other operating systems, without any hardware or software binding, said Qi.

Two decades of shifting applications have driven the cloud on the web

Who’s in charge of the data center network? To answer this question, the industry has passed two decades before you know it.

In the last ten years, from 2000 to 2010, when Cisco dominated the world, almost every report on the network that you could see in the market was Cisco’s report. Whether it was the network architecture or the market, Cisco represented the development trend of the industry.

In the last decade, network demand has been driven by cloud computing vendors and dictated by the system platforms at the top. For example, when Microsoft redesigned its data center, it abandoned the switch solution of a major international brand because it could not support its functionality. So apps are driving the web.

Industry cloud and hybrid cloud are the real foothold of SDN

Qi once believes that the future industry cloud and hybrid cloud will be the real foothold of SDN, which is very obvious in the market performance.

The public cloud itself has a strong team, so it can do SDN technology well by itself. However, industry customers are almost unwilling to direct their business to the public cloud, but it does not have as strong technical strength as the public cloud itself, so it needs to build together. In addition, there are some customers whose core data builds their own private cloud, and at the same time, they will put part of non-core business on the public cloud. Thus, the demand for hybrid cloud arises. How to conduct security control on hybrid cloud? This is the problem to be solved by SDN. Hybrid cloud will greatly increase the complexity of network interconnection and management and control. After all, public cloud and private cloud are different in both service and security level, resulting in the complexity of network management and control.

Two big things: monitoring and control

Qi once said, “The Spruce Network has done two major things in recent years, one is surveillance and the other is control.” For products, they are Deepflow and NSP. In the strategic layout, it is the entrance to seize the data and the entrance to the network respectively. This is obviously a smart choice for startups.

Spruce’s DeepFlow flow acquisition and analysis platform, which collects data and diagnoses networks, is Spruce’s entry level product. Data entry, its core role is to make the platform well, a good platform, not to see the number of functions, but to see the stability. “Deepflow has to process data ten times faster than users expect, and in the future NSP performance will have to be ten times faster than users expect,” said Mr Qi.

At present, spruce has gone through three stages. The first stage is the research and development and entrepreneurship stage in Tsinghua University, which realizes the accumulation of technology. The second stage is from 2015 to 2017, which mainly focuses on product transformation and clear team and organizational structure. The third phase, from 2018 to 2019, entered the rapid development phase and achieved a significant increase in revenue. “We are entering the value-creation stage,” Mr Qi says.