100G Ethernet

Juniper's Cloudy View

8:45 AM -- For some time, the discussion about 40- and 100-Gbit/s networking has focused on video. Traffic of all sorts is rising, but the one traffic type that will push network needs over the top is video, so the conventional wisdom goes.

In fact, while this is an unfair piece of evidence given the oversimplification that comes with the format, the interview below has Bill Gartner, vice president of optical transport at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), citing video as the driving factor so far.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), in putting out its 100-Gbit/s router interface yesterday, had a different story.

"We believe it's much more than video," says Luc Ceuppens, senior director of marketing. "A lot of the video that is put on the network is not streaming video and not broadcast quality. Mark Cuban, for instance, says it will never happen. The medium is not built to do this." Cloud computing, on the other hand, involves real-time applications (data retrieval, for instance) spread across broad geographies. That's eventually going to require -- well, the kind of network most people say is needed for broadcast-quality video. Juniper suspects the cloud is going to be the real 100-Gbit/s driver.

With 10-Gbit/s client services likely to be on the rise in coming years, says Ceuppens, "it adds up rapidly, and it's just going to escalate."

I don't think Ceuppens is denying the pressure video places on broadband. I do think he's being rightfully wary of new-bubble predictions about how quickly Internet video will swamp the networks. Cloud computing is in its own bubble phase, to be sure, but Internet TV, as Cuban points out has the immovable object of living-room TV to contend against.

In a way, it's a pointless debate. Cisco and Juniper -- and the rest of the equipment vendors -- don't care what causes a buying rush for 100 Gbit/s, so long as it happens. But it's worth asking the question we didn't ask a decade ago: How much of what we're forecasting is real, and how much of it is bubble froth?

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:03:08 PM
re: Juniper's Cloudy View

Then again, you've got Cisco saying video will account for 90% of all consumer IP traffic in 2013:


Note that the 90% part is measuring consumer traffic only, and that it includes *all* video, any quality.  Note also that it probably doesn't take too many HD viewings to eclipse all of the email and Twittering that any given person does in any given day.

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