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Server-Class Networking Bandwidth to Increase Five-Fold in Five Years
Posted: 28-Jan-2013 [Source: Crehan Research]

[Data center networking bandwidth is to exceed 900 terabits by 2017 according to this report.]

San Francisco, CA -- According to Crehan Research's latest Server-class Adapter & LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) Long-Range Forecast Report, server-class networking bandwidth will see a five-fold increase by 2017, exceeding 900 terabits in that year as datacenters continue to increase network capacity to keep up with traffic demands As illustrated in the accompanying figure, impending transitions such as upgrades from 1 Gbps Ethernet (GbE) to 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE), from 8Gbps Fibre Channel to 16Gbps Fibre Channel, and – now well underway – from QDR Infiniband to FDR Infiniband will drive significant bandwidth increases. These increases are needed to handle the exponential growth in network devices, ubiquitous connectivity, and richer applications that are driving more and more traffic over server networking connections.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130128/SF48927)

The report shows that the transition to 10GbE will have the largest impact and is expected to account for more than 60 percent of the total bandwidth by 2014 – the year in which Crehan Research still forecasts that 10GbE server-class adapter and LOM shipments should overtake GbE.

"Even without a very high attach rate of 10GbE LOMs on volume enterprise rack servers due to the current high 10GbE Modular LOM end-customer price premiums, there is enough volume on alternative server platforms such as Cloud, Blade and High-end servers to drive the 10GbE transition within a couple of years," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "Furthermore, with the default inclusion of a four-port GbE Modular LOM on many Romley-based volume enterprise servers, the native Ethernet networking bandwidth (and number of ports) on these servers has been doubled at no additional price to customers," Crehan added. As a result, the Crehan report shows GbE has continued to grow while 10GbE has grown much more rapidly, leading to very healthy combined Ethernet port growth.

The increase in server-class adapter and LOM bandwidth will in turn put more demands on the switches that connect these devices to the network. Since most server-class devices reside in data centers, Crehan also forecasts robust growth for data center switches.

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