100G Ethernet switch ports to peak in 2020 as 400G ramps: Dell’Oro Group

Significant deployment of 400G Ethernet switch ports awaits the availability of high-volume, low-cost optics, says a Dell'Oro analyst.

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Dell’Oro Group says in a new report that demand for 100-Gbps Ethernet switch ports will peak next year. While demand for such ports will continue to be strong, composing more than 30% of the market over the next five years, the same timeframe will see the rise of 400-Gbps ports. Shipments of 400G switch ports will exceed 15 million, the market research firm predicts in its most recent “Ethernet Switch – Data Center Five Year Forecast Report.”

“The first wave of 400-Gbps switch systems based on 12.8-Tbps chips were introduced in the market in 2H 2018,” said Sameh Boujelbene, a senior director at Dell’Oro Group. “However, we do not expect material adoption of 400 Gbps until 2020 due to the lack of high-volume, low-cost 400 Gbps optics. The only cloud service provider [SP] that started deploying 400 Gbps was Google, which opted for special 400-Gbps optics with an earlier time-to-market.

“Meanwhile, we expect other cloud SPs, for instance Amazon, Facebook, or Microsoft, to keep deploying 100 Gbps and to probably consume the 12.8-Tbps chips in the form of high–density 100-Gbps switch systems to reduce cost,” Boujelbene added.

Dell’Oro’s “Ethernet Switch – Data Center Five Year Forecast Report” offers details about the timing of 100/200/400/800 Gbps and how the use cases may vary depending on the SERDES lane and market segment driving the speed. The report also provides an overview of market trends and includes tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, port shipments, and average selling price forecasts for various technologies: modular and fixed by port speed and fixed managed and unmanaged by port speed.

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