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Fig. 1: The SDN-based white box network switch market is expected to grow 32 percent to five million systems by 2017. (Source: Crehan Research Inc.) moved beyond total dependence on old standbys such as Intel’s x86 and now use processors such as MIPS and ARM, as well as a variety of SoC variations from the likes of Freescale, Broadcom, Cavium and Netronome. Based on this new flexibility, Crehan Research believes that, with the total cloud market expected to grow to about 12-million plus ports by 2017, white-box deployment will increase about 32 percent a year to about 5 million data-center Ethernet white-box switch ports by 2017. According to Gartner Research, even though Cisco still dominates the switch/router market with a 50 percent share, the white-box segment is growing quickly. Now at 3.8 percent of the market, Gartner estimates white-boxes will constitute about 10 percent of the 18 million switch ports installed by 2018. Abhi Dugar, Cloud, Mobile & Security Infrastructure Technology Analyst at IDC, said his company is equally optimistic about white-box penetration. “With the emergence of open source software such as Linux, as well as SDN and its various virtual networking variations, the pecking order has changed in the network switch market,” he said. “Previously it was traditional networking companies such as Arista, Brocade, Cisco, and Juniper with their proprietary solutions that made the decisions for the end users at the major corporations that used their hardware and software.” These companies are now playing catchup in a market with a lot of new players and are no longer making the decisions. “Now it is their biggest customers, the ones with the major online cloud presences to maintain, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, who are making the decisions.” These big customers need more speed, more flexibility, and lower cost than they were getting from traditional providers. So they’ve started going elsewhere to get what they need. “Out of this has emerged the new network white-box market,” said Dugar. The use of white-boxes is also spreading to many medium to large corporations who have online cloud services to maintain. What they all want, in addition to raw performance, is low cost, cross-platform capabilities and ease of implementation that SDN and open source generally provide. They will use any network system supplier that will satisfy those requirements, regardless of the underlying processor architecture. Dugar said the emergence of SDN and NFV into widespread use is transforming the network services business and will continue to do so for many years into the future. “Before a company would go to a Cisco to get a complete proprietary turnkey hardware and software solution,” he said. “Now with standardized software, it is possible for them to either pull all the pieces together themselves or go to an ODM who can do it for them.” A good example of this trend is the transformation that has taken place at Taiwan-based Advantech, which in the past was focused more on traditional embedded single-board computers for industrial and aerospace applications and less on networking and server markets, except where there was some overlap. According to Paul Stevens, marketing director of the network and communications group at Advantech Corp., the board company started modestly in the network market in a few targeted segments closely related to their traditional industrial Fig. 2: Deceptive in its simplicity of design, Advantech’s ESP-9112 is part of a white box network switch trend that is changing software-defined networking. (Source: Advantech) FPGA Boards from JAPAN SAVING COST=TIME with readily available FPGA boards MAX 10 Series Altera Kintex-7 Series Xilinx PLCC68 Series Stamp size FPGA/CPLD Module Easy and Quickly Mountable on 68-pin IC socket Designed for 68-pin PLCC socket Very small size (25.3 x 25.3 mm) 50 I/Os(External clock inputs are available) 3.3V single power supply operation See all our products and accessories at : www.hdl.co.jp/EET1507 Brand new MAX10 FPGA board Integrated A/D converters Integrated config. memory 3.3V single power supply operation Plenty of user I/Os: 100 or 128 Line up 10 types of proven boards www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe July-August 2015 33


EETE JULAUG 2015
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