Analysts expect NSX implementations to be among those that accelerate in 2014.
"VMware's NSX [will] achieve a number of customer wins in accounts where VMware already has a presence," says IDC's Brad Casemore.
"I would expect not only more NSX deployments, but more network virtualization solutions in general to be deployed given the large number of network virtualization announcements in 2013," says Laliberte. "I would also expect to see Microsoft HyperV network virtualization make its presence felt in 2014 as multi-hypervisor environments expand."
On the commodity white-box switching front, where proponents include Google and Facebook, Casemore expects further inroads in those types of hyperscale and cloud data centers, but it can only break out of that rarefied neighborhood — and into the enterprise — with support from a major IT player.
Casemore also expects SDN to make further inroads into the enterprise next year.
"We will see some adoption of campus SDN, including some impressive deployments with regard to scale and scope," he predicts.
In the service provider world, Casemore expects Juniper and Nuage Networks to compete aggressively for network virtualization overlay business in carrier accounts with their respective Contrail and VSP offerings.
Brocade, too, predicts network functions virtualization (NFV) will gain significant traction in carrier network next year.
"NFV will gain prominence and drive new revenue opportunities for service providers by pulling managed services into the cloud, drastically reducing costs and increasing service agility," the vendor said.
And finally, Casemore expects some significant deal making to occur in the SDN market in 2014. Arista Networks, which markets itself as a software-defined cloud networking vendor, has plans to go public many in the industry believe.
Something like that will happen with Arista and others, Casemore believes.
"Arista's IPO finally comes to pass ... or the company is acquired, perhaps by an IT vendor not currently a major player in networking," he says. "We will see at least one significant M&A event in networking in 2014."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.