Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions contributes network automation that enables policy-based decisions to arrange which network traffic goes where, while Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software focuses on the services, and ensures the network's capabilities align with the virtualized environments they are supporting.

Top Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software vendors 2020

  • IBM Corporation
  • Juniper Networks Inc.
  • HPE
  • Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
  • NEC Corporation
  • PICA8
  • Ericson Inc.
  • Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Avaya Inc.
  • Affirmed Networks Inc.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions is a ground-breaking networking architecture, which is poised to entirely revolutionize the existing networking and data center infrastructure. Along with the innovative idea of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software, the control plane is decoupled from the data plane, with the provision for a separate controlling software layer and an application platform with the capabilities of policymaking and providing network intelligence.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) market will grow from USD 8.8 billion in 2018 to USD 28.9 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.8% during the forecast period.


Top 25 companies offering Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software features were analyzed, shortlisted and categorized on a quadrant under Visionary Leaders, Innovators, Dynamic Differentiators, and Emerging Companies to identified best SDN and NFV software providers.


Software-Defined Networking (SDN) vendors who fall into this category generally receive high scores for most of the evaluation criteria. They have a robust and established product portfolio and a very strong market presence. Moreover, these vendors also have strong business strategies. This category includes top SDN & NFV software vendors such as IBM Corporation, Juniper Networks Inc., HPE, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., NEC Corporation, PICA8, Ericson Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Avaya Inc., Affirmed Networks Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Nokia Corporation and Netgear Inc.


The dynamic differentiator's category includes established vendors with very strong business strategies. However, they are low in the product portfolio. This category includes vendors such as AT&T Inc.


Innovators are vendors who have demonstrated substantial product innovations as compared to their competitors. They have a focused product portfolio. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business. This category includes the best Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software vendors such as Big Switch Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Intel Corporation, Verizon Communications Inc., Ciena, Accedian Networks, Metaswitch, and Extreme Networks.


Emerging companies’ category comprises vendors with niche product offerings, who are starting to gain their position in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies as compared to other established vendors. They might be new entrants in the market and require some more time before getting significant traction. This category includes vendors such as Nuage Networks, Pluribus Networks and Zetta Network.

Benefits of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software

  • Increase business agility: Flexibility of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) makes it easier and faster to roll out innovative services, like real-time HD video conferencing and cloud applications, along with consistently high-quality end-user experience.
  • Improve network visibility, performance, and management control: SDN brings the benefits of network-wide visibility, analytics, and control through a simple dashboard. 
  • Enhance security: The centralized SDN controller in the core network has visibility over end-to-end traffic flows and threats. It can push global security policies updates out centrally to every site, while a virtualized switch can filter packets at the network edge and redirect suspicious traffic to higher layer security controls. 
  • Eliminate vendor lock-in: Open platforms are key in eliminating vendor lock-in and driving growth in SDN. 
  • Reduce costs: SDN pools multiple compute, storage and processing functions onto low cost commodity servers to reduce capital expenditure. 
  • Holistic Enterprise Management: Software Defined Networking (SDN) allows management of physical and virtual network devices from a central controller.
  • Integration with Public Cloud:Network provisioning can be done today from a cloud portal without getting into manual device centric configuration mode as earlier.

How Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions work?

In Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions, the software is decoupled from the hardware. SDN separates the two network device planes, moving the control plane that determines where to send traffic to software, and leaving the data plane that actually forwards the traffic in the hardware. This allows network administrators who use software-defined networking to program and control the entire network via a single pane of glass.

Physical or virtual networking devices actually move the data through the network. In some cases, virtual switches, which may be embedded in either the software or the hardware, take over the responsibilities of physical switches and consolidate their functions into a single, intelligent switch. The switch checks the integrity of both the data packets and their virtual machine destinations and moves the packets along.

Rules for Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Integration

  • Plotting a course based on need rather than technology
  • Discovering application connectivity and Improving the network
  • Aligning the infrastructure with the right SDN platform
  • Looking beyond automation
  • Preparing the organization
  • Lab testing the platform
  • Develop an SDN security strategy
  • Managing the migration process
  • Post-integration management
  • Find an Integration Partner

Future of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions

  • Companies are moving to the cloud.
  • Virtualization of networking infrastructure.
  • SD-WAN is on the rise as the network here used covers a wide area.
  • SD-WAN is on the rise as the network here used covers a wide area.
  • SDN will become a technology that will be more responsive, fully automated, and highly secure.

Best Software Defined Networking (SDN) Solutions and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Software

Comparing 48 vendors in Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions across 102 criteria.
All vendors(30)
With IBM Corporation’s Software-defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions, organizations can move towards a software-driven approach and away from the constraints of hardware for their networking needs. For a productive IT environment, organizations must have a rapid networking system, and with the help of IBM’s networking solution, that can be achieved easily. With IBM’s Software-defined Networking and Network Function, Virtualization Solutions organizations can ensure that their networking systems are well-equipped and future-ready.
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Meet Juniper Networks Inc, detailed engineering but simple access. Their elevation in the ranks of trusted names accurately mirrors their dynamic venture. On every step, Juniper Networks ensures a user-friendly interface. The complexed engineering stays in the background because simple access is what they promise. All their technologies are driven by Al. Juniper Networks Inc aims to offer an extensive series of products and services along with proficient training in these institutions.
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Plexxi Inc delivers software-defined networking technology aimed at data centre modernization. Acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) IN 2018, Plexxi’s software-defined portfolio, combined with HPE’s infrastructure creates a cloud-like environment in the data centre at HPE. By coming together, the HPE SimpliVity and Plexxi solution allow customers to align their IT resources to business objectives efficiently. Utilizing Plexxi’s technology enables HPE to simplify hybrid IT and deliver a composable rack solution.
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Huawei Technologies Co Ltd fits the mould of the current ICT market. With an impeccable track record, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd aims at making the digital space more inclusive. All their products, services, and solutions are offered in best packed technological advances to capture the spirit of today with an outlook of the future. Traversing over the geographical limits, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd extends to more than 170 countries, and it is perfectly fit to expand further.
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NEC Corporation guides the technology towards teaching the fundamentals of a thriving society with groundbreaking IT solutions. The company offers cloud based Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions. The SDN and NFV solution is cloud based which facilitates easy transition to IoT networks with its virtual business platform. Over the years, NEC has developed the world's fastest and most accurate biometric authentication technology that, together with their intelligent analytics and systems integration capability, enables the swift delivery of reliable identity verification solutions and urban infrastructure surveillance.
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Marking its territory in the current trends of virtual reality, Pica8 makes your investment into an awe-inspiring experience. Pica8 has an extensive client base, including educational institutions, government services, and Fortune 1000 enterprise networks. Their Threshold™ is forward leading in the market with its end-to-end open networking solutions. Pica8’s products are known for their compact designs and high-end inbuilt structures. They are not limited to one sector; they offer to bring in an extensive range of fields.
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Cisco is a well-known multinational technology conglomerate that produces, assembles, and markets networking-related hardware, telephony equipment, and other high-end services and products. For making network management dynamic and improving network performance, Cisco has developed a modern and innovative SDN solution that helps in overcoming complexity and data plans, while making automation scalable and reliable as well. Furthermore, users can provision and control data centers and broad range networks.
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Avaya’s software-defined networking and network function virtualization solutions are designed to help users create a rapid network within their organization. With a single solution for all of their networking needs, it is easy to bypass hardware that is designed for specific network requests and responses. Hence, Avaya’s software-defined networking and network function virtualization solution helps to create a compact solution for organizations to be able to connect every individual within the organization.

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Brocade Communication System Inc offers seamless, secured, and fast software-defined networking and network function virtualization solutions. It has been facilitating many businesses while providing high-speed data centers along with storage solution powered with web and cloud. With Brocade solutions, any company can have the power to have uninterrupted streaming services along with unlimited data storage, which is built on STrateXGS and Trident Switch Architecture.
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Big Switch Networks is cloud- and datacenter-based networking firm. Its products include Big Monitoring Fabric, a network packet (NPB) fabric.

Big Switch solutions are a combination of technological components into Fabric Solutions that causes Software Defined Networks improved feature sets at very aggressive costs. It helps in the deployment of large scale NFV and flexible design with different security protocols.

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Nokia is a well-known phone manufacturing company. It also serves in the development of GSM, 3G, and LTE standards. Other than this, it has a networking division that provides communications and networks service platforms. The company’s SDN solution achieves policy-based automation over the entire network. The users can manage their elements to optimize data center, cloud, or software-defined WAN operations or automate safety procedures and even troubleshooting policies.
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Mellanox Technologies is a market leader in smart, high-performance interconnect solutions and services. Its wide range of Ethernet and InfiniBand technologies provide improved data center efficiency, scalability, and the lowest latency in areas like high-performance computing, Web 2.0, cloud, machine learning, telecom, and financial services. Mellanox offers a broad portfolio of products, including multicore processors, software, network adapters, switches, and cables to enable fast data delivery and maximize business results.

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NetGear Inc is an established name in offering one of the best and most reliable Software-defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions. The company supports massive servers with virtual machines, hypervisor, physical server, ready DATA & ready NAS storage. NetGear’s virtual network provides constant connectivity between servers. The system is built on ProSAFE, ReadyNAS ReadyDATA. Apart from that, the services are cost-effective for small businesses as well.
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Some brands stick to their guns, and so does their permanent position in the global market. The area of Intel Corporation has remained unmitigated in the list of the best global brands. Harnessing modern technology with the benefits of the cloud, 5G, Internet of Things, and their dynamic experience, Intel Corporation makes the virtual world a solution. Intel Corporation offers reliability and sustainability in a package of advanced technology. Two of their projects, ‘Innovation for Economic Empowerment’ and ‘Advancing Diversity in Technology’ are set to translate the technology into a smoother accessible and inclusive range. Intel, ever since its debut in the IT market, has become a household name owing to its cutting-edge technologies. Hence, any product from the authentic Intel Corporation can be sought-after without much doubt.
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With AT&T’s Software-defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions, organizations help make their businesses more agile and respond more quickly to network needs. AT&T FlexWare allows businesses to transform their operations and deploy multiple network functions with the help of software rather than hardware built solely for one purpose. Thus, it acts as a more compact solution for businesses. AT&T Software-defined Networking and Networking Function Virtualization Solutions also include SD-WAN services that allow businesses to improve the efficiency, speed, and security of their networks.

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Marked with a network defined by its smooth processing and adaptive nature, Ciena marks its area crystal evident. Ciena uses real-time analysis and intelligent automation to give real-life experience to all its users. Not only Ciena delivers quality and a phenomenal experience but also resizable solutions. With its programmable infrastructure, you get customizable solutions in all their services. Ciena partners with the best names to bring you the supreme content from the competition.
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As organizations make a move towards a software-defined network, Accedian Network is poised to help make the transition smooth and effortless. Accedian Network’s Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions help the organization create better-performing networking paths. With the help of Accedian Network’s Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions, it is easier for businesses to create a dynamic network infrastructure which can respond to network requests rapidly and is flexible with how it responds to different applications.

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Pluribus Networks is a network solution entity offering Software-defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Solutions. It is ranked 58th among the fastest growing companies in North America. It is successfully helping businesses with its software Netvisor ONE Open Network Operating System and Cloud Fabric. The Operating system enables multi-site unification, network slicing, L2VPN/L3VPN, video traffic segmentation & IoT and edge computing. The entire network is under the customer's hand and can be programmed with ease.
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Nuage Networks has reached the pinnacle in the automating cloud industry, and it aims to maintain that position. They deliver SDN capabilities that befit all range of clouds. Their specialized services aptly feed the requirements of modern-day networking. Equipped with fluent communication and delicately engineered infrastructure, Nuage Networks provides easy accessibility for all networks. Their high-tech built gateways and adaptive networks ensure their credible performance in all cloud systems. It is a vendor-neutral cloud networking.
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