Applications, not protocols, seen advancing tech development in data center networks

While there is still much traditional Fibre Channel, Ethernet, and InfiniBand discussion taking place among data center operators, uncertainty surrounding protocols is being replaced by uncertainties over how to handle specific applications.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- While there is still much of the traditional Fibre Channel, Ethernet, and InfiniBand discussion taking place among data center operators, much of the uncertainty surrounding protocols is being replaced by uncertainties over how to handle specific applications, according to Data Center Network Economics, a new research service dedicated to this industry.

“These debates about Ethernet vs. InfiniBand or FCoE vs. traditional Fibre Channel are good for creating intriguing controversies, but in practice they're becoming less relevant than application discussions, such as how to handle 40G for video vs. how to handle 40G for transaction processing,” according to David Gross, co-founder of the research service. “Debating the latest developments at the ITU or IEEE was more appropriate for the market that existed in the 2000's, not the one that's developing for the 2010s.”

The research service is launching with two reports – Data Center Network Equipment and Structured Cabling Verification. It covers the entire supply chain of data center networks – from chips, components, and cables to equipment and services. In addition to traditional market research methods, the service incorporates financial analysis of deployments that includes analysis of cost trends in technology components.

“I've worked in the data center industry for a long time in technical positions, with significant exposure to cables and optical components,” according to Lisa Huff, co-founder of the service. “And I see successful products that are not just built to meet current demand, but to anticipate the financial needs of data center operators over the next 1-3 years. Therefore, it makes little sense now to conduct market research without an in depth consideration of economic feasibility, and it makes little sense to talk about full systems without looking into the cost trends of the components that go into them.”

The reports are available for sale now, and the principal analysts are also offering custom research and economic analysis to companies involved with this segment of the data networking industry. More information is available at http://www.datacenterecon.com.

Data Center Network Economics is a research and consulting service produced by FreeSky Research LLC and Discerning Analytics LLC.

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