40/100 GbE test equipment to make strongest gains and register triple digit growth rates
An increase in datacentre activities, rapid growth of the 40/100 GbE market, mobile backhaul applications, and infrastructure development by end users to accommodate gigabit Ethernet are driving the global Ethernet test equipment market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, High Growth Testing Opportunity: Global Ethernet Test Equipment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $822.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach €905.2m ($1225.7 m) in 2016. The 1 GbE, 10 GbE and 40/100 GbE test equipment segments are expected to grow at single, double and triple digit rates, respectively.
Modern datacentre technologies including virtualisation, converged datacentre networks and cloud computing are changing the designs of traditional datacentres. These newer designs require higher bandwidth; 40/100 GbE equipment is better suited to the core and aggregation layers.
“With constantly evolving processor performance, it is anticipated that the 40/100 GbE interfaces will become the default requirement,” noted Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “This has led to a corresponding demand for 40/100 GbE test equipment.”
End-user demand for high density test equipment is considered both a driver and a challenge for Ethernet test equipment vendors. While it offers immense growth opportunities, test vendors are constantly being challenged to keep their products aligned with the market’s emerging functional test requirements – such as Layer4 wire-speed TCP/IP testing, Y.1564, 1588v2/SYNC, and IPv6 – even while continuing to provide value for money.
As technology improves and port count increases, end users are becoming accustomed to purchasing test solutions with greater capabilities across a range of technologies. Equipment prices have steadily fallen over the last few years even as end users have been pressured to create efficiencies and reduce unnecessary expenditure.
“The increasing complexity of protocols and the concurrent development of different standards call for Ethernet test equipment with greater testing capabilities,” remarked Bommakanti. “However, as protocols become more difficult to comply with, it will be a greater challenge for the test equipment to provide the desired results.”
Market prospects will be boosted by continued efforts by manufacturers to overcome the glitches inherent in advanced technologies and to offer competitive products. Rapidly evolving end-user technologies will motivate test vendors to focus on R&D and product introductions that best address customer needs.