By Jayshree Ullal, President & CEO-Arista Networks, Inc.
2015 is going to be the most exciting time for the networking industry as it will witness the inception of major trends as well as changes to the dynamics of doing business. This journey has already gained momentum with surging investments made in the networking space by various venture-capital firms to aid the ascent of innovation. Software-defined networking (SDN), which empowers open programmability, cost optimization, and a framework for distributed networks, would be ready for broad deployment this year. Many networking companies are striving to bring the value of SDN to the corporate world with their solutions and expertise. Arista is one such firm that has introduced its Extensible Operating System that enables programmability at all layers with distributed software-defined control and management through a blend of DevOps and NetOps.
Network virtualization is also going to be an eye-catching trend this year. A lot of traction will be gained by seamless virtual and physical networks with Virtual Extensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) as the key L2 over L3 foundationbuilt to transcend past boundaries. In particular, today VXLAN is at the tipping point for broader implementations, replacing proprietary, vendor-specific options. The coming months of 2015 will also bring 10GbE to the mainstream that will drive the need for higher speed 40/100GbE inter-switch links. The TAM (total addressable market) for 10/40/100GbE data center switching, estimated to be $12B by 2017, which is a huge market opportunity in data center and cloud networking.
Big Data adoption is expected to drive scale-out Ethernet since the rate of adoption of scale-out storage for tier 1/2/3 based on 10GbE as the direct-attached storage network (for NAS, iSCSI and Hadoop clusters), is off the chart! Networking executives have to prepare themselves to effectively manage the high-speed storage and Hadoop workloads supported by large packet buffers and fast failover capabilities that minimize packet loss.
As a number of trends are evolving in the networking industry, its refurbishment is inevitable. The transformation from silo-based point products to new platforms already indicates a massive shift manifesting in the ecosystem of openness and programmability. Innovation in public clouds, big data, security and virtualization is jump-starting the era of Software Driven Cloud Networking. Though with change, there will be a rise of new challenges in the industry. The greatest challenge for entrepreneurs will beto balance their courage to take risk with the pragmatic approach for technology development and customer acceptance.