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Data centre delays expected amid AI infrastructure prioritisation, finds report

Written by Thu 8 Feb 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure build-outs, also known as ‘Back-End Networks’, are causing budget cuts and data centre project delays in general-purpose infrastructure, or ‘Front-End Networks’.

The Dell’Oro Group report titled Ethernet Switch – Data Center 5-Year Forecast Report found that, despite these delays, 800 Gigabits per second (Gbps) port shipments are forecast to quadruple in 2024. This is driven by the anticipated adoption by Amazon and propelled by the availability of 51.2 Terabits per second (Tbps) chips in the market.

Vice President of Dell’Oro Group, Sameh Boujelbene said data centre project delays and budget cuts have led to a shift of the 800 Gbps adoption timeline by approximately a year for certain major Cloud SPs.

“Consequently, our forecast for sales of switches deployed in front-end networks has been revised downward compared to our July 2023 report,” said Boujelbene.

The report also found that 1600 Gbps is expected to start shipping in 2025 and 2026. Together with 800 Gbps, these high speeds are expected to comprise nearly 40% of the data centre switch ports by 2028.

An alternative technology to co-packaged optics, Linear Drive Optics, is also anticipated to gain significant momentum or become more widely adopted. 

Adoption of Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) is projected to increase rapidly among Tier 2/3 Cloud Service Providers and large enterprises. By 2028, it is expected that SONiC will be implemented in around 10-20% of the networking infrastructure within these organisations.

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Written by Thu 8 Feb 2024

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