Welcome to The VAR Guy's look at software-defined networking (SDN). What exactly is SDN -- and what SDN companies serve channel partners like VARs, MSPs and CSPs? Our curated content provides answers and insights.

What is Software-defined Networking (SDN)?

The fancy answer from WikiPedia: "Software-defined networking (SDN) is an approach to building computer networks that separates and abstracts elements of these systems... SDN allows network administrators to have programmable central control of network traffic without requiring physical access to the network's hardware devices.[2][3]"

The simple answer from The VAR Guy: SDN decouples control from hardware. The result could be easier-to-manage networks built on lower-cost hardware.

What Is OpenFlow?

OpenFlow is a communications protocol. It allows a server to tell network switches where to send packets. So... the result could be low-cost servers used to manage switches. It's only a piece of the larger SDN discussion, though.

How Big Is the SDN Market?

SDN will be a $2 billion opportunity by 2016, according to IDC. But sales were only about $168 million in 2013, IDC estimates. Only 4 percent of businesses had deployed SDN in 2012, according to InformationWeek. Another 21 percent said they will deploym SDN around the 2013 timeframe. The VAR Guy's spin: Careful of the hype in this market.

SDN News, Forecasts, Rearch and More

All listed and updated below.