The market is ready for a new classification of Switching in the Data Center
Historically, the portion of the Ethernet switch market geared toward programmability was limited to high-frequency trading (HFT) and some niche Telco use cases. For HFT, Arista and Cisco used a combination of ultra-low latency ASICs and FPGAs.
That market has historically had approximately $200M in annual revenue. The programable switching market, led by Intel's Barefoot Tofino ASIC leveraged by nearly a dozen vendors, also does about $200M a year in revenue.
Network devices have lagged in innovation compared to servers, with the Smart NIC and DPU accelerators running various workloads ranging from storage, virtualization to security. It's time for the network to create a similar innovating leap into accelerated networking.
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company has launched the CX 10000, which is the first product to enter the market for this class of device. It combines HPE Aruba's networking IP, such as Fabric Composer and switch expertise, and Pensando's DPU to address various new deployment models.
We expect that by 2025, the market for these accelerated class devices will exceed $10B. More than fifteen years ago, the market made a transition to purpose-built products for the data center and campus. Today's data center requirements are similarly pushing for new product classes and purpose-built products to address the need in a hybrid-cloud world compared to the legacy approaches used for the past decade-plus.
If we look at Aruba's CX 10000 in a little more detail, several use cases geared toward colocation, hybrid-cloud, and security take center stage. With each use case, we note that the enterprise could no longer scale with the number of applications, the pools of data, nor the new multi-cloud environments. Contemporary architectures are needed to support applications and to allow the human in IT to scale. At the same time, we are in the early stages of netOps and secOps merging. Today, this leads to early themes, but the next decade of networking must support this broader trend, and we view products, like Aruba's CX 10000, as looking forward to the next ten years of networking design.
Our supply chain checks across the technology and cloud sector continue to turn pessimistic during the early days of October. As a result, orders for semiconductors that were thought to be secured and guaranteed are being cut. The implications are clear that most segments we track are in for several bumpy months, with all efforts to bring 2022 back to normal.
Component suppliers are cutting or negotiating back existing commitments – Factory shutdowns, lack of fab capacity, and logistics gridlock continue to hamper the ability of system vendors to get adequate supplies. Vendors continue to burn through their stock, and no vendor can ship a 99% complete product. Vendor resources, which should be on 2022 product launches and securing capacity for future product cycles, are instead spent figuring out what to ship and adjusting components in existing product lines. In general, vendors are shipping fewer varieties of SKUs now than at any point in the past 20 years.
Prices are increasing for components and, in some cases, will never return to the previous price – While some price increases could be classified as temporary or transitionary like rush charges, air freight, and redesigns, many events are leading to more permanent price increases. At the very least, vendors will dual source suppliers, manufacturing across many geographic regions leading to lower volume with each supplier. As a result, we view some semiconductor components as never returning to pre-COVID price levels. So the big question remains when products will return to historic price erosion?
2022 lacks new product designs – In 2021, there were very few new product introductions and downsizing in SKU offerings. In some markets, we track there was minimal impact, but in other areas like 400/800G, the lack of clarity is causing many hyperscalers to reevaluate their speed transitions.
We expect a different tone in earnings season as vendors, component suppliers, and customers adjust to the new normal of not getting every type of product they want over the next several quarters. As a result, some projects will be delayed, others scaled back, and spare capacity at AWS/Azure/GCP will be put to the test as many enterprises embrace capacity to buffer shortfalls in premises-based hardware.
When Cribl announced its monster $200M financing round, we wondered what is coming next for the observability infrastructure company. The company has revealed some of what got investors excited in its fall release (Version 3.2.0) announcements. We think the two most important elements of the fall release announcements include is Cloud Visibility & Management and its Quick Connect features, both of which enhance Cribl customers’ implementation of the flagship product, LogStream.
In addition to this 3.2.0 release, we think another reason investors are so enthusiastic to back Cribl is the growing demand for observability systems. We expect that, over time, the networking, security, and observability industries will see increasing overlap between each other. This overlap will drive customers to demand solid third-party alternatives to the trend where prominent players from each of the three industries acquire smaller, best-of-breed category leaders. While there is able competition in the overall Observability market, Cribl’s newfound war chest positions it to vie for leadership in the emerging observability infrastructure market.
The company’s main fall release enhancements include:
The second important function of Cloud Visibility and Management is that it: