Wi-Fi growth set to drive sales of new Ethernet speeds


Steadily growing demand for faster enterprise wireless LANs in the next four years is expected to drive up sales of both Wi-Fi gear and a new type of Ethernet for connecting next-generation access points.

Most enterprises aren’t ripping out cables in favor of Wi-Fi or even fitting out brand-new workspaces with no Ethernet jacks, but they are putting up more and faster access points to get the best of both worlds — wired and wireless, according to Dell’Oro Group analyst Chris DePuy.

The Gigabit Ethernet connections at the edge of most enterprise networks today aren’t fast enough to feed the new, faster access points, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet requires new cable in most businesses, so the IEEE is creating a new standard just to link up to faster Wi-Fi. The new specification is expected to define both 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps Ethernet and will work with existing wires. Two different industry groups say they’ve pretty well worked out how to do this, so there may be a battle over the final standard. DePuy expects that fight to be finished in the next year and products to ship before 2016.

The new Ethernet speeds are likely to be a hit: By 2019, as many as one-quarter of all ports at the edge of enterprise networks will be built for 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps, DePuy predicts. Network architects won’t necessarily need all those ports to connect their fast access points, but they’ll buy switches filled with them and use the extras for Ethernet jacks at users’ workstations, he said.

Wi-Fi itself isn’t growing like a young technology anymore, but companies will keep investing in it. Enterprise wireless LAN revenue will grow by about 11 percent per year over the next four years. Most of that growth will come from access point sales, as companies buy fewer central Wi-Fi controllers and use alternatives like cloud-based management, DePuy said. In the search for more wireless capacity, 802.11ac Wave 2 shipments will overtake Wave 1 gear around 2018, he believes.

The biggest job for IT departments may be keeping up with the growing number of mobile devices employees want to use, including phones, tablets and wearables. By 2019, at any given time, the average workplace will have just as many devices connected to the LAN over Wi-Fi as on wired Ethernet, DePuy predicted.


Posted in News | January 29th, 2015

Server upgrades coming

The availability of multiple new data-center Ethernet speeds will lead to a much stronger server networking upgrade cycle than seen over the past decade, according to Crehan Research. The firm expects that the impending arrival of 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 50G and 100G products, in combination with existing 10G and 40G products, will result in more than two-thirds of total server networking ports migrating to high-speed Ethernet within three years.

The different speeds will appeal to different market segments, Crehan says. For example, 25G is expected to see a strong initial ramp from deployments by cloud giants such as Google and Microsoft, an area of the market where 10G server networking is currently prevalent.

Ten gigabit Ethernet should see its biggest adoption in mainstream enterprises, as they upgrade Gigabit Ethernet server and server access infrastructure to 10GBASE-T. Forty gigabit Ethernet is starting to ramp significantly as currently the most attractively priced data center Ethernet speed. Networking bandwidth demands were so strong in some market verticals that these customers could not wait to evaluate impending 25G and 50G options, Crehan reports.

A minimum of eight port speeds are expected to co-exist for server access over the next five years, according to Dell’Oro Group says. The firm also says server unit shipments are expected to grow in the low single digits compounded annually from 2014 to 2019.

High-density servers, based on either Intel’s X86 or ARM processors will drive the majority of growth in unit shipments during the forecast period. An increase in the number of connected devices as well as the number of workloads processed by data centers will continue to drive demand for physical servers, but virtualization will dampen growth rates, Dell’Oro says.

Growth will also shift from enterprise/premises deployments to cloud as cloud economics — server prices, resiliency, scalability, and product lifespan—along with enhancements in security accelerate adoption.

And this server adoption will be fueled by growing demand among enterprises for cloud WAN services to help decrease operational costs and management burden. The Rayno Report predicts WAN cloud services to be a $7.5 billion market by 2020 with $360 million in venture capital investment in over a dozen start-ups as a bedrock.

The cloud WAN services market includes cloud-based WAN optimization, IP VPN and security services, according to Rayno. These services, delivered by 17 incumbent and start-up companies, promise to virtualize existing enterprise WAN hardware platforms and functions, such as branch office routers, VPNs, WAN optimization and application delivery controllers.

The Rayno report on cloud WAN service can be found here. It costs $650 for a single user license.

Network World | Jan 28, 2015 10:47 AM PT

Posted in News | January 29th, 2015