IHS Markit: Service Provider Data Center Growth Accelerates + Gartner on DC Networking Market Drivers

Service Provider Data Center Growth Accelerates,  by Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., IHS Markit

Service providers are investing in their data centers (DCs) to improve scalability, deploy applications rapidly, enable automation, and harden security, according to the Data Center Strategies and Leadership Global Service Provider Survey from IHS Markit. Respondents are considering taking advantage of new options from server vendors such as ARM-based servers and parallel compute co-processors, allowing them to better match servers to their workloads. The workloads most deployed by service provider respondents were IT applications (including financial and on-line transaction processing), followed by ERP and generic VMs on VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V. Speed and support for network protocol virtualization and SDN are top service provider DC network requirements.

 “Traditional methods for network provisioning to provide users with a quality experience, such as statically assigned priorities (QoS) in the DC network, are no longer effective. The DC network must be able to recognize individual application traffic flows and rapidly adjust priority to match the dynamic nature of application traffic in a resource-constrained world. New requirements for applications delivered on demand, coupled with the introduction of virtualization and DC orchestration technology, has kicked off an unprecedented transformation that began on servers and is now reaching into the DC network and storage,” said Cliff Grossner Ph.D., senior research director and advisor for cloud and data center at IHS Markit , a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.Inline image

“Physical networks will always be needed in the DC to provide the foundation for the high-performance connectivity demanded of today’s applications. Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, Arista, and H3C were identified as the top five DC Ethernet switch vendors by service provider respondents ranking the top three vendors in each of eight selection criteria. These Ethernet switch providers have a long history as hardware vendors. When selecting a vendor, respondents are heavily weighing factors such as product reliability, service and support, pricing model, and security,” said Grossner.

More Service Provider Data Center Strategies Highlights:

·         Respondents indicate they expect a 1.5x increase in the average number of physical servers in their DCs by 2019.

·         Top DC investment drivers are scalability (a driver for 93% of respondents), rapid application deployment (87%), automation (73%), and security (73%).

·         On average 90% of servers are expected to be running hypervisors or containers by 2019, up from 74% today.

·         Top DC fabric features are high speed and support for network virtualization protocols (80% of respondents each), and SDN (73%).

·         100% of respondents intend to increase investment in SSD, 80% in software defined storage, and 67% in NAS.

·         The workloads most deployed by respondents were generic IT applications (53% of respondents), followed by ERP and generic VMs (20%).

·         Cisco and Juniper are tied for leadership with on average 58% of respondents placing them in the top three across eight categories. Huawei is #3 (38%), Arista is #4 (28%), and H3C is #5 (18%).

Data Center Network Research Synopsis:

The IHS Markit Data Center Networks Intelligence Service provides quarterly worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2022, analysis and trends for (1) data center Ethernet switches by category [purpose-built, bare metal, blade, and general purpose], port speed [1/10/25/40/50/100/200/400GE] and market segment [enterprise, telco and cloud service provider], (2) application delivery controllers by category [hardware-based appliance, virtual appliance], and (3) software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) [appliances and control and management software], (4) FC SAN switches by type [chassis, fixed], and (5) FC SAN HBAs. Vendors tracked include A10, ALE, Arista, Array Networks, Aryaka, Barracuda, Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, CradlePoint, Dell, F5, FatPipe, HPE, Huawei, Hughes, InfoVista, Juniper, KEMP, Nokia (Nuage), Radware, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Talari, TELoIP, VMware, ZTE and others.


The following information was collected by Alan J Weissberger from various subscription only websites:

Gartner Group says the data center networking market is primarily driven by three factors:

  • Refresh of existing data center networking equipment that is at its technological or support limits
  • The expansion of capacity (i.e., physical buildouts) within existing locations
  • The desire to increase agility and automation to an existing data center

Data center networking solutions are characterized by the following elements:

  • Physical interfaces: Physical interfaces to plug-in devices are a very common component of products in this market. 10G is now the most common interface speed we see in enterprise data center proposals. However, we are also rapidly seeing the introduction of new Ethernet connectivity options at higher speeds (25 GbE, 50 GbE and 100 GbE). Interface performance is rarely an issue for new implementations, and speeds and feeds are less relevant as buying criteria for the majority of enterprise clients, when compared to automation and ease of operations (see “40G Is Dead — Embrace 100G in Your Data Center!” ).
  • Physical topology and switches: The spine-and-leaf (folded Clos) topology is the most common physical network design, proposed by most vendors. It has replaced the historical three-tier design (access, aggregation, core). The reduction in physical switching tiers is better-suited to support the massive east-west traffic flows created by new application architectures (see “Building Data Center Networks in the Digital Business Era” and “Simplify Your Data Center Network to Improve Performance and Decrease Costs” ). Vendors deliver a variety of physical form factors for their switches, including fixed-form factor and modular or chassis-based switches. In addition, this includes software-based switches such as virtual switches that reside inside of physical virtualized servers.
  • Switching/infrastructure management: Ethernet fabric provides management for a collection of switches as a single construct, and programmable fabrics include an API. Fabrics are commonly adopted as logical control planes for spine-and-leaf designs, replacing legacy protocols like Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and enabling better utilization of all the available paths. Fabrics automate several tasks affiliated with managing a data center switching infrastructure, including autodiscovery of switches, autoconfiguration of switches, etc. (see “Innovation Insight for Ethernet Switching Fabric” ).
  • Automation and orchestration: Automation and orchestration are increasingly important to buyers in this market, because enterprises want to improve speed to deliver data center network infrastructure to business, including on-demand capability. This includes support and integration with popular automation tools (such as Ansible, Chef and Puppet), integration with broader platforms like VMware vRA, inclusion of published/open APIs, as well as support for scripting tools like Python (see “Building Data Center Networks in the Digital Business Era” ).
  • Network overlays: Network overlays create a logical topology abstracted from the underlying physical topology. We see overlay tunneling protocols like VXLAN used with virtual switches to provide Layer 2 connectivity on top of scalable Layer 3 spine-and-leaf designs, enabling support of multiple tenants and more granular network partitioning (microsegmentation), to increase security within the data center. Overlay products also typically provide an API to enable programmability and integration with orchestration platforms.
  • Public cloud extension/hybrid cloud: An emerging capability of data center products is the ability to provide visibility, troubleshooting, configuration and management for workloads that exist in a public cloud provider’s infrastructure. In this case, vendors are not providing the underlying physical infrastructure within the cloud provider network, but provide capability to manage that infrastructure in a consistent manner with on-premises/collocated workloads.

You can see user reviews for Data Center Networking vendors here.


In a new report,  HTF Market Intelligence says that the Global  Data Center Colocation Market will Have Huge Growth by 2025.

The key players are highly focusing innovation in production technologies to improve efficiency and shelf life. The best long-term growth opportunities for this sector can be captured by ensuring ongoing process improvements and financial flexibility to invest in the optimal strategies. Company profile section of players such as NTT Communications Corporation, Dupont Fabros Technology, Inc., Digital Realty Trust, Inc., Cyxtera Technologies, Inc., Cyrusone Inc., Level 3 Communications Inc., Equinix, Inc., Global Switch, AT&T, Inc., Coresite Realty Corporation, China Telecom Corporation Limited, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Inc., Interxion Holding NV, Internap Corporation & KDDI Corporation includes its basic information like legal name, website, headquarters, its market position, historical background and top 5 closest competitors by Market capitalization / revenue along with contact information. Each player/ manufacturer revenue figures, growth rate and gross profit margin is provided in easy to understand tabular format for past 5 years and a separate section on recent development like mergers, acquisition or any new product/service launch etc.

Browse the Full Report at: https://www.htfmarketreport.com/reports/1125877-global-data-center-colocation-market-6

IHS Markit: CSPs accelerate high speed Ethernet adapter adoption; Mellanox doubles switch sales

by Vladimir Galabov, senior analyst, IHS Markit


High speed Ethernet adapter ports (25GE to 100GE) grew 45% in 1Q18, tripling compared to 1Q17, with cloud service provider (CSP) adoption accelerating the industry transition. 25GE represented a third of adapter ports shipped to CSPs in 1Q18, doubling compared to 4Q17. Telcos follow CSPs in their transition to higher networking speeds and while they are ramping 25GE adapters, they are still using predominantly 10GE adapters, while enterprises continue to opt for 1GE, according to the Data Center Ethernet Adapter Equipment report from IHS Markit.

“We expect higher speeds (25GE+) to be most prevalent at CSPs out to 2022, driven by high traffic and bandwidth needs in large-scale data centers. By 2022 we expect all Ethernet adapter at CSP data centers to be 25GE and above. Tier 1 CSPs are currently opting for 100GE at ToR with 4x25GE breakout cables for server connectivity,” said Vladimir Galabov, senior analyst, IHS Markit. “Telcos will invest more in higher speeds, including 100GE out to 2022, driven by NFV and increased bandwidth requirements from HD video, social media, AR/VR, and expanded IoT use cases. By 2022 over two thirds of adapters shipped to telcos will be 25GE and above.”

CSP adoption of higher speeds drives data center Ethernet adapter capacity (measured in 1GE port equivalents) shipped to CSPs to hit 60% of total capacity by 2022 (up from 55% in 2017). Telco will reach 23% of adapter capacity shipped by 2022 (up from 15% in 2017) and enterprise will drop to 17% (down from 35% in 2017).

 “Prices per 1GE ($/1GE) are lowest for CSPs as higher speed adapters result in better per gig economies. Large DC cloud environments with high compute utilization requirements continually tax their networking infrastructure, requiring CSPs to adopt high speeds at a fast rate,” Galabov said.

Additional data center Ethernet adapter equipment market highlights:

·         Offload NIC revenue was up 6% QoQ and up 55% YoY, hitting $160M in 1Q18. Annual offload NIC revenue will grow at a 27% CAGR out to 2022.

·         Programmable NIC revenue was down 5% QoQ and up 14% YoY, hitting $26M in 1Q18. Annual programmable NIC revenue will grow at a 58% CAGR out to 2022.

·         Open compute Ethernet adapter form factor revenue was up 11% QoQ and up 56% YoY, hitting $54M in 1Q18. By 2022, 21% of all ports shipped will be open compute form factor.

·         In 1Q18, Intel was #1 in revenue market share (34%), Mellanox was #2 (23%), and Broadcom was #3 (14%) 

Data Center Compute Intelligence Service:

The quarterly IHS Markit “Data Center Compute Intelligence Service provides analysis and trends for data center servers, including form factors, server profiles, market segments and servers by CPU type and co-processors. The report also includes information about Ethernet network adapters, including analysis by adapter speed, CPU offload, form factors, use cases and market segments. Other information includes analysis and trends of multi-tenant server software by type (e.g., server virtualization and container software), market segments and server attach rates. Vendors tracked in this Intelligence Service include Broadcom, Canonical, Cavium, Cisco, Cray, Dell EMC, Docker, HPE, IBM, Huawei, Inspur, Intel, Lenovo, Mellanox, Microsoft, Red Hat, Supermicro, SuSE, VMware, and White Box OEM (e.g., QCT and WiWynn).


Mellanox Ethernet Switches for the Data Center:

In the Q1 2018 earnings call, Mellanox reported that its Ethernet switch product line revenue more than doubled year over year. Mellanox Spectrum Ethernet switches are getting strong traction in the data center market. The recent inclusion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant is yet another milestone. There are a few underlying market trends that is driving this strong adoption.

Network Disaggregation has gone mainstream

Mellanox Spectrum switches are based off its highly differentiated homegrown silicon technology. Mellanox disaggregates Ethernet switches by investing heavily in open source technology, software and partnerships. In fact, Mellanox is the only switch vendor that is part of the top-10 contributors to open source Linux. In addition to native Linux, Spectrum switches can run Cumulus Linux or Mellanox Onyx operating systems. Network disaggregation brings transparent pricing and provides customers a choice to build their infrastructure with the best silicon and best fit for purpose software that would meet their specific needs.

25/100GbE is the new 10/40GbE

25/100GbE infrastructure provides better RoI and the market is adopting these newer speeds at record pace. Mellanox Spectrum silicon outperforms other 25GbE switches in the market in terms of every standard switch attribute.

IHS Markit: On-premises Enterprise Data Center (DC) is alive and flourishing!

by Cliff Grossner, PhD, IHS Markit

Editor’s Note: Cliff and his IHS Markit team interviewed IT decision-makers in 151 North American organizations that operate data centers  (DCs) and have at least 101 employees.



While enterprise have been adopting cloud services for a number of years now, they are also continuing to make significant investments in their on-premises data center infrastructure. We are seeing a continuation of the enterprise DC growth phase signaled by last year’s respondents and confirmed by respondents to this study. Enterprises are transforming their on-premises DC to a cloud architecture, making the enterprise DC a first-class citizen as enterprises build their multi-clouds.

IHS-Markit: Data Center Ethernet switch revenue reached $2.8B in 1Q2018

by Devon Adams and Cliff Grosner, PhD, IHS Markit

IHS Markit: Data Center and enterprise LAN SDN market totaled $4.4 Billion in 2017

Data Center & Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software Market Tracker from IHS Markit:


  • Global data center and enterprise LAN software-defined networking (SDN) market revenue—including SDN-in-use bare metal and branded Ethernet switches and SDN controllers—is anticipated to reach $15.8 billion by 2022.
  • Bare metal switch revenue came to $790 million in 2017, representing 26 percent of total in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue.
  • Data center SDN controller revenue totaled $1.2 billion in 2017, and is expected to hit $4 billion by 2022, when it will represent 17 percent of data center and enterprise LAN SDN revenue.
  • Cisco is number-one with 21 percent of 2017 in-use SDN revenue, VMware comes in at number-two with 19 percent, Arista at number-three with 15 percent, White Box at number-four with 12 percent and Huawei at number-five with 7 percent.


  1.  White Box is No. 1 in bare metal switch revenue, VMware leads the SDN controller market segment, Dell owns 44 percent of  branded bare metal switch revenue in the second half of 2017, and HPE has the largest share of total SDN-capable (in-use and not-in-use) branded Ethernet switch ports.
  2. White box also ranked No. 1 in data center server revenue, pulling in 21 percent of the market in the first quarter, or $3.8 billion. Dell EMC dropped to second place in revenue at 20 percent ($3.6 billion), followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at 18 percent ($3.2 billion).

IHS Markit analysis:

The data center and enterprise LAN market is maturing. In-use SDN revenue totaled $4.4 billion worldwide in 2017, and is expected to hit $15.8 billion by 2022. Innovations continue, with bare metal switch vendors announcing 400GE switches with new programmable silicon that incorporates an on-chip ARM processor to support artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and allows data plane protocols to be modified without changing silicon. Also of note, Edgecore Networks (Taiwan) contributed its 440GE switch design to the Open Compute Project (OCP).

SDN controllers for the data center also continue to add functionality, with increased support for interconnecting multiple on-premises data centers, and with support for interoperation between cloud service provider (CSP) data centers and enterprises as they build multi-clouds. Other notable enhancements include features that support container networking and integration with container management software such as Kubernetes.

Data center and enterprise LAN SDN is now mainstream and the market is expected to grow.

“Not all the $15.8 billion in revenue in 2022 is new. SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue is existing revenue, and a portion of SDN controller revenue is displaced from the Ethernet switch market due to reduced port ASPs,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., senior research director, IHS Markit. “Some network operators will elect to use bare metal Ethernet switches when deploying SDNs and rely on SDN controllers for advanced control plane features,” Cliff added.

About the report

The IHS Markit Data Center & Enterprise SDN Hardware & Software Market Tracker provides market size, market share, forecasts, analysis and trends for SDN controllers; SDN-capable bare metal Ethernet switches and branded Ethernet switches; and SD-WAN appliances and control and management. Vendors tracked include Arista, Aryaka, Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, Dell EMC, Fatpipe, HPE, Huawei, InfoVista, Juniper, NEC, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Talari, VMware, White Box, ZTE and others.

IHS Markit: Data center network equipment revenue reached $13.7 billion in 2017

Data center network equipment revenue, including data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers (ADCs) and software-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN), totaled $13.7 billion in 2017, increasing 13 percent over the previous year.

In the short term, investment in physical infrastructure is still driving data center network equipment revenue growth. However, in 2018 and 2019 the effect of server virtualization will slow the market, with fewer — but higher capacity — servers reducing the need for data center Ethernet switch ports, along with the move to virtual ADCs.

“The adoption of lower-priced bare metal switches will cause revenue growth to slow,” said Clifford Grossner, Ph.D., senior research director and advisor, cloud and data center research practice, IHS Markit. “The ongoing shift to the cloud not only moves network equipment out of the enterprise data center, but also requires less equipment, as the cloud represents data center consolidation on a wide scale.”

Data center network equipment highlights

  • Data center network equipment revenue was on the rise, year over year, in all regions: North America and Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) each increased 10 percent in 2017; Asia Pacific (APAC) was up 23 percent; and Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) rose 2 percent.
  • 25GE and 100GE data center switching ports increased three-fold year over year.
  • New 200/400GE developments are underway, and shipments expected to begin in 2019.
  • Long-term growth in the data center network equipment market is expected to slow to 6 percent in 2022, as SD-WAN revenue growth slows due to the migration from the enterprise dater center to the cloud.
  • SD-WAN revenue is anticipated to reach $3.6 billion by 2022; the next wave for SD-WAN includes increased analytics, with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) providing multi-cloud connectivity.

Revenue results from key segments

  • Data center Ethernet switch revenue rose 13 percent over the previous year, reaching $11.4 billion in 2017.
  • SD-WAN market revenue hit $444.1 million for the full-year 2017.
  • Bare metal switch revenue was up 60 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • ADC revenue was down 5 percent year over year in 2017.

Research synopsis

The IHS Markit Data Center Networks Intelligence Service provides quarterly worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2022, analysis and trends for data center Ethernet switches by category (purpose-built, bare metal, blade, and general purpose), port speed (1/10/25/40/50/100/200/400GE) and market segment (enterprise, telco and cloud service provider). The intelligence service also covers application delivery controllers by category (hardware-based appliances, virtual appliances), SD-WAN (appliances and control and management software), FC SAN switches by type (chassis, fixed) and FC SAN HBAs.

Vendors tracked include A10, ALE, Arista, Array Networks, Aryaka, Barracuda, Broadcom, Cavium, Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, Dell, F5, FatPipe, HPE, Huawei, InfoVista, Juniper, KEMP, Radware, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Talari, TELoIP, VMware, ZTE and others.

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