Data centre networking requirements are evolving rapidly after a period of architectural stability that lasted at least 15 years. While speed, density and scale increased during that period, the underlying architecture relied on an oversubscribed three-tier hierarchical approach — using server access switches, an aggregation layer and an intelligent Layer 3 switching core.
Today, the data centre network market is being transformed with new architectures, technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address: The increasing requirement to improve and simplify network operations activities to align more closely with business goals and broader data centre orchestration agility, the changing size and density within the data centre shifts in application traffic patterns
During the past 12 months, there has been a significant amount of change in the data centre networking market. There are several acquisitions that have been undertaken and/or are in progress, involving Alcatel-Lucent, IBM, Extreme Networks and Enterasys Networks. In addition, many of the vendors included in this Magic Quadrant announced or released major components of their software-defined networking (and related technology) strategies, while others made significant enhancements to existing software-defined networking (SDN) offerings. Also, many of the vendors now use merchant-based silicon within significant portions of their switching portfolios.
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