Researcher says '04 will be big year for GbE

Feb. 11, 2004
Feb. 11, 2004 - End-user study also says Cat 5 is most widely deployed medium in enterprises today.

Through discussions with vendors of LAN connectivity equipment--including network interface cards (NICs), LAN-on-motherboards (LOMs), and switches-and an analysis of quarterly LAN connectivity shipment trends through the third quarter of 2003, In-Stat/MDR ( projects that 2004 will be a key year for the deployment of Gigabit Ethernet, and to a much more limited extent, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, by U.S. businesses. According to the high-tech market-research firm, most vendors cite the rapid drop in GbE average selling prices (ASPs), and the growing inclusion of GbE connectivity in business PCs by PC OEMs, as the key drivers for the growth in GbE shipments.

However, "the most significant barrier to adoption of GbE and 10GbE appears to be the common perception among potential customers of the simple lack of need for a full gigabit of bandwidth to the desktop, or a full 10 gigabits of bandwidth anywhere in the organization," says Sam Lucero, an industry analyst with In-Stat/MDR. This theory is supported by results of a recent In-Stat/MDR survey of business end-users. In the survey, 64% of respondents cited simply a perceived lack of need for a gigabit of bandwidth as the primary reason for not having deployed GbE. This was followed by the perception that a gigabit of bandwidth is not justified by current prices, and the lack of budget, currently to deploy GbE.

Other key findings in the survey include:
* Slightly over 54% of the respondents stated that their organizations had not deployed GbE, in the respondents' area of responsibility. Not surprisingly, enterprise organizations were the most likely to have deployed GbE, while small office/home office (SOHO) organizations were the least likely.
* Category 5 is the most widely deployed cabling infrastructure cited by respondents, followed by Category 5e.
* Respondents cited the desire to prepare for future expected bandwidth needs as the top reason for deploying GbE, followed by provisioning sufficient bandwidth for converged networks and reducing delay/latency in the network. This finding underscores the current lack of a "killer app" driving GbE deployment. Essentially, deployments are being driven by price reductions that allow customers to think of GbE as viable "futureproofing" connectivity option, when new infrastructure needs to be deployed.

The report in which these findings are published, "The Need for Speed: End-User Survey of Trends in GigE and 10 GigE LAN Connectivity," examines trends in GbE and 10GbE from the end-user perspective.

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