Dell’Oro Group reports on AI infrastructure, forecasts 800 Gbps port shipments

Feb. 2, 2024
The group’s new report says a focus on building AI infrastructure is delaying general-purpose infrastructure expansions. 

Dell’Oro Group reported in a Jan. 31 press release that AI infrastructure build-outs (back-end networks) are causing budget cuts and project delays in general-purpose infrastructure (front-end networks). The group also reports that budget cuts and project delays are affecting 800 Gbps port shipments but expects increased shipments in 2024.

Sameh Boujelbene, vice president at Dell’oro Group, said in the press release, “Recent interviews with major Cloud service providers (SPs) unveiled multiple projects experiencing delays or being put on hold due to a shift in focus to AI infrastructure build-outs. Project delays and budget cuts have led to a shift of the 800 Gbps adoption timeline by approximately a year for certain major Cloud SPs. Consequently, our forecast for sales of switches deployed in front-end networks has been revised downward compared to our July 2023 report.”

In addition to forecasting increased Linear Drive optics traction and accelerated SONiC adoption, Dell’Oro’s “Ethernet Switch—Data Center 5-Year January 2024 Forecast” reports that 1600 Gbps is expected to start shipping in 2025/2026 and that, together with 800 Gbps, is expected to comprise nearly 40 percent of data center switch ports by 2028.

Boujelbene added, “Despite project delays, 800 Gbps port shipments are expected to quadruple in 2024, driven mainly by the anticipated adoption by a major Cloud service provider, specifically Amazon, and propelled by the availability of 51.2 Tbps chips in the market. 800 Gbps will be adopted in both back-end as well as front-end networks. While our traditional data center switch report focuses on front-end networks, we delve into back-end network deployment in our recently published advanced research report ‘AI Networks for AI Workloads.’”

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