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September 26, 2014

SDN apps could ‘create $1.5bn in revenue’ in three years

HP introduces first ever SDN app store.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Software defined networking (SDN) apps could unlock more than $1.5bn in revenue for applications, developers and third party partners within the next three years, according to HP.

The hardware giant, which this week launched its first even SDN app store, said much of the growth would be driven by growing demand for OpenFlow-enabled SDN products.

The app store will allow customers to download virtual networking and SDN tools, such as load balancers, virtualised firewalls and other applications from HP and its partners.

Sean Brown, UK & Ireland Director for HP Networking, told CBR: "We are working with one of the big five consultancies on a research paper to try and define what the market opportunity is. It’s certainly, I believe in the next three years, in excess of $1.5bn.

"But it really depends on not so much HP providing and enabling ecosystems but with the application developers… I mean there are endless opportunities if you understand the concepts of OpenFlow and SDN to deliver value into the network and do things differently to how they’ve been done for the last 20 years.

"Within the SDN app store, you can foresee that there will be a number of application developers that will develop a capability which they’ll load on to the app store and make as a chargeable download, much the same way as the Apple store or the Google Play store exists today.

"And therefore for every app they generate, for $2, $5 or whatever they feel is the right pricing for the app is, how do you then value in terms of the number of downloads versus the actual revenue generated. So it doesn’t take you much to consider that with the right types of app that the opportunity could explode."

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HP said applications for the app store will be sorted into four categories or ‘circles’.

The HP Circle will carry applications developed by HP alone; the Premium Circle will have "top seller" apps and ones jointly tested by HP and its partners. Partner Circle apps will be self-tested by HP partners and reviewed by HP, while Community Circle will offer open access and community supported apps that demonstrate the benefits of open source and concept SDN software.

Brown added: "We’re not a closed shop. We offer a choice for our customers to integrate our products into any range of third party products. We encourage that and the app store is an example of that in that its openness is to encourage third party application developers, whether they be for HP partners today or not.

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