While sitting at the airport, I looked around and noticed nearly every person was thumbing away on their smartphones or browsing online multimedia via their laptops. We are literally connected every minute of the day and the number of devices has only increased. Even during this economic downturn, North American smartphone sales jumped to nearly 50 million units in 2009, that’s up 25 percent over 2008. As analysts foresee the smartphone trend to climb at an even steeper rate due to younger and older customers (450 million smartphone’s predicted to be sold per yet by 2013!), Internet Service Providers are frantically looking to strengthen their network infrastructure to satisfy our bandwidth needs for today and prepare them for the massive growth in the coming years.
If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas for a convention, then you know first-hand what it means when too many mobile users are on a limited number of 3G towers. It’s almost like reverting back to dial-up days without the modem beeps and pings. This is a perfect example of the statistic that shows that only eight percent of Smartphone users are able to drive about 75 percent of total data usage. The future introduction of Long Term Evolution along with the recent amendment to IEEE standard 802.11 only complicate the issue further and heighten the amount of congestion over mobile networks. With all of this driving up the network bandwidth over the current network infrastructure, it is obvious that something must be done to strengthen and widen these over-trafficked pipes. So what are the options? Today Brocade has the unique ability to trunk 32-ports of 10 GbE connections into a single link, but while this is a cost effective and currently available solution, it isn’t the panacea large Service Providers need for the long haul (no pun intended). Carriers worldwide are banging their fists for significantly higher speed solutions and the reality of it being available for purchase took a giant step forward on June 22 with the IEEE 802.3ba standard ratification for 40/100 GbE.
Brocade has been an active member in the IEEE standards and we already have pre-orders for 100 GbE blades months prior to our general availability date…even Apple addicts aren’t that fanatical. We clearly understand that higher speed technology is not only important for carrying the world's network traffic, but a critical source of revenue for equipment manufacturers, as a relatively small percentage of high speed ports capture a much larger portion of manufacturer revenue. So we’ll let Service Providers do what they do best, provide you with the affordable connectivity you need to run your bandwidth hungry applications and we’ll do what we do best, creating next generation high performance networking solutions to help transform the world.