Half of IT departments to deploy 100Gb Ethernet by 2016

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Cloud, virtualisation and big data upping demands on I/O networks

Over half of IT administrators believe their data centre will be using 100Gb Ethernet by 2016, boosted by trends in server virtualisation, cloud computing and big data.

A survey of 1,529 IT leaders in North America and Europe has shown that 54 percent of IT departments are expecting to be scaling networks to support speeds of 100Gbps.

According to enterprise networking provider Emulex, which conducted the survey, CIOs and IT execs are increasingly concerned about how to deal with the influx of data being faced.

The survey showed that 81 percent of respondents believe that growing demand for network bandwidth is one of the most significant problems facing data centres currently.  76 percent believe that network I/O is the most critical potential bottleneck in the data centre, with I/O performance a high or very high priority amongst 70 percent of respondents.   Network I/O demands are increasing by more than 60 percent annually, according to just over half of respondents.

This is a particularly important factor for virtualisation.   85 percent of respondents said that network I/O was a significant or very significant gating factor in allowing higher numbers of virtual machines.

With access to higher network speeds these barriers would be removed, and 72 percent believe that they could be running as many as 100 virtual servers off a single physical server in two years.

Cloud computing is also increasing demands on networks, with 53 percent of respondents claiming that the the move to the cloud has upped bandwidth requirements.   This also involved increased network demand for migrating data to the cloud.

Over half are also expecting that big data will sap resources, with 54 percent expecting that dealing with large volumes of data will increase network demand by 50 percent.  Currently more than a third of respondents claim to manage 1 petabyte or more of data, while 11 percent are already pushing past 100 petabytes.

Convergence of data and storage networks is also having a significant impact on increased I/O, with the majority of IT departments surveyed expecting networks would converge into a single network in future.  64 percent have already done so.

“The fact that data centre networks need to keep getting faster isn’t news to anyone,but what is amazing is the rate at which the demand for bandwidth is increasing,” said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Emulex.

“Today, 40 percent have already deployed 10Gb Ethernet, and in another four years, the majority of those networks will be operating at 100GbE. It’s truly unprecedented.”

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