Monday, January 28, 2013

Crehan Research: Five-Fold Increase in Server Networking Bandwidth by 2017

Server-class networking bandwidth will see a five-fold increase by 2017, exceeding 900 terabits in that year as data centers continue to increase network capacity to keep up with traffic demand, according to Crehan Research’s latest Server-class Adapter & LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) Long-Range  Forecast Report.

The bandwidth increase is enabled by technology upgrades from 1 Gbps Ethernet (GbE) to 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE), from 8Gbps Fibre Channel to 16Gbps Fibre Channel, and from QDR Infiniband to FDR Infiniband.

The transition to 10GbE is expected to account for more than 60 percent of the total bandwidth by 2014  – the year  in which  Crehan Research 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.