The software-defined data center (SDDC) market will continue to pick up steam over the next few years, and by 2018, expect the market to be valued at $5.41 billion. According to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, "Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Market (Software Defined Storage (SDS); Software Defined Networking (SDN), Software Defined Compute/Server, Network Virtualization Security) — Global Advancements, Market Forecasts and Analysis (2013-2019)," the market is currently valued at approximately $396.1 million, but that will grow significantly and rapidly over the next few years.

That's a compound annual growth rate of 68.7 percent, which is rather amazing, even considering how new the market is. According to the report, demand for cost-effective and flexible data center solutions, as well as requirements for resource pooling, automatic network configurations and a rising interest in avoiding vendor lock-ins are driving the market for SDDC.

Currently, telecommunications service providers are the largest users of SDDC solutions, followed by cloud services providers. When it comes to geographic usage, North America is expected to be the biggest market, with Asia-Pacific having the fastest growth over the next few years.

But what's driving the market? MarketsandMarkets noted that innovations in processing power and memory, high demand for resource pooling and manual/custom networking configurations are the driving factors behind the SDDC market.

Additionally, there has been a shift in the pricing models from hardware-based to software-based pricing, as well as a requirement for multi-tenancy support and vendor lock-in breakdowns.

The report also noted that providers of virtualization and software-defined solutions are looking to gain a better competitive advantage in the market by creating intelligent and integrated management platforms for the overall and integrated SDDCs.