Gartner: fibre channel over Ethernet is obsolete, but SDN makes users grumpy
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July 29, 2015
Market research firm Gartner said this morning that fibre channel over Ethernet is now obsolete, and
software-defined networking (SDN) is making users grumpy rather than delivering promised benefits.
Gartner added that Wi-Fi's next variant, 802.11ac Wave 2, is just half-way up its famed hype
curve, but Wave 1 and 802.11n are both okay as productive technologies.
It also suggests that SDN has arrived at the trough of disillusionment, meaning that people for
whom it has no appeal beyond marketing will give up and leave the technology for those that actually
need it in the real world.
Gartner added that nearing the hype peak are the WAN optimization-as-a-service and cloud-managed LAN markets.
But all is not lost. One of the fundamental components of your technological armoury, the virtual
switch, fares much better, being put near the top of the enlightenment slope and regarded by
Gartner as mainstream.
But SDN gets two other mentions on the curve-- applications running under SDN are apparently near
the top of the hype cycle, along with SD-WAN.
The first refers to writing code using northbound and southbound APIs to add capabilities to
the network without relying on the network hardware vendor.
Secondly, while SD-WAN (simplifying WANs by using application-based forwarding policies) is
rated as important, there's limited vendor choice at this time.
Overall, Gartner places 2.5/5 Gbps Ethernet as a hype-rise and warns against adopting pre-standard
equipment without good reason. Heaven knows what they'd think of 25/50 gig Ethernet, which hasn't yet
made it onto the curve.
Now that North America has noticed its shortage of IPv4 addresses, IPv6 is given the tick of approval
as climbing the slope of enlightenment.
Walking with it are Ethernet switching fabrics. We hear some cheering from the general direction of
Brocade, and WAN path control which seems little distinguishable from SD-WAN.
Hybrid WANs (treating technologies like carrier Ethernet and MPLS as a single WAN) and Ethernet
services are given equal billing on the upward slope, and Cisco will no doubt be thrilled to know
that unified communications and collaboration is finally seen as productive.
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