Freesky: Government labs, universities, and financial traders major 40/100G markets

DECMEBER 15, 2008 -- While it has become common to associate 40- and 100-gigabit networks with video, Freesky Research has found that much of the push to surpass 10 Gbps is coming from derivatives traders, university researchers, and computers talking to other computers.

DECMEBER 15, 2008 -- While it has become common to associate 40- and 100-gigabit networks with video, Freesky Research (search for Freesky) has found that much of the push to surpass 10 Gbps is coming from derivatives traders, university researchers, and computers talking to other computers, with video accounting for less than half of the market, according to the firm's new report, 40 and 100 Gigabit Networks: Technologies, Markets, Applications.

In examining the connection between video and 40G implementations, the firm found that:


  • Carriers are deploying an increasing number of OC-768 ports between MPLS nodes, largely to expand capacity for $100,000 a month corporate customers, not for $100 a month residential customers.
  • Much of the video traffic transiting carrier networks is being downloaded during off-peak hours.
  • Increasing polygon rendering rates for computer simulations will be just as important a requirement for 40G and 100G systems as increasing frame rates for consumer video.

The study also found that in spite of industry turmoil, banks and brokerages are still likely to deploy higher-speed communications links in order to cut microseconds from their transaction times. Yet with many of these buy and sell orders, the use of FAST compression is reducing the average transmission per trade to less than 200 bytes. Therefore, one of the leading requirements for commercial 40G and 100G networks will be to carry sub-kilobyte text files, not multi-gigabyte video files. There is no doubt that transferring data out of multi-petabyte databases is pressing network capacity, but mostly for government and academic researchers who typically access files stored on nearby LANs and SANs.

"The 40- and 100-gigabit market is much like the router market of the early '90s, in that it is poised to grow at double-digit rates in spite of a weak economy," said David Gross, author of the study. "However, just as many vendors back then never foresaw the extent to which routers would be deployed in public networks, many suppliers today are overlooking the extent to which 100-Gigabit Ethernet will stimulate demand for applications that are hard to imagine today."

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