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The campus edge switch market evolves, offers new innovations

    • 13 posts
    May 21, 2019 3:39 PM HKT

    The campus edge LAN switch market is awake and roaring. The open networking movement is competing with traditional switching for market share. The vendor landscape has also changed. Not only have companies consolidated, but their market focus is changing. Developments in high-speed wireless networks, meantime, are also changing the face of campus edge switching, restating the boundary between the wired and wireless worlds.


    There are numerous campus edge switch products. But there's no clear consensus among switch vendors about all the new developments. Some vendors feel that open networking is the most important development in the recent market, whereas others think virtual extensible LAN is the most important new technology in campus switching. Which vendors are right? A big part of that answer depends on each individual IT environment and its needs.

    Here we examine the features and options available with traditional and open networking.

    How traditional, proprietary switching has evolved

    The LAN switching market is now more than 20 years old. Since the very beginning, proprietary has been the standard. Buying a switch from Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Switches, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) or D-Link always meant getting a device that consisted of that vendor's hardware, which only ran switch software from the same vendor. There was no alternative. But a lot has changed.

    Years ago, switching hardware consisted of specialized application-specific integrated circuits that each vendor custom built. These circuits were expensive and undocumented to the outside world. But the market has shifted, as vendors like Broadcom, Marvell and Mellanox Technologies build and sell high-performance merchant silicon, or switching chips, that others can use instead of designing and building their own. Economies of scale make using merchant silicon very attractive for switch vendors. All of this has led to the birth and growth of open networking.

    Open networking

    Open networking is all about disaggregation; that is, separating the underlying switching hardware from the switching software. With open networking, the customer chooses the software from an OS vendor and the hardware upon which the OS can run from a device vendor.

    Today, there are several network OS vendors, including Pluribus Networks, Pica8 and Cumulus Networks. Even silicon vendor Broadcom provides a generic network operating system. There's also software developed by the open source OpenSwitch Linux Foundation project.

    There are more available port speed options than ever. Many are achieved using break-out cables and don't require dedicated ports of a given speed.

    In addition, the Facebook-founded Open Compute Project is also involved in developing switching software. With this kind of activity from both commercial companies and the open source community, open networking may be well worth considering.

    The shifting vendor landscape

    The networking industry has seen a continuous consolidation of vendors, and the switching market is no exception. Aruba Networks and 3Com are now part of HPE. Force10 is part of Dell, which of course merged with EMC. Extreme Networks not only purchased Enterasys, but it also acquired the Nortel switch portfolio formerly owned by Avaya. And Ruckus Networks, a vendor of enterprise wireless LAN products, is now part of Arris Networks, which also picked up the switch product line of Brocade Communications Systems when Broadcom, which bought Brocade, decided it didn't want that part of the business.

    Legacy vendors, such as Juniper Networks and Arista Networks, have turned their attention to enterprise and campus networks as they attempt to supplement their traditional service provider and hyperscale data center base. And while that's occurring, vendors such as D-Link and Netgear are taking an opposite tack, trying to woo enterprises as well as their established SMB and consumer-class segments.

    D-Link, for example, offers 10 Gb Ethernet (GbE) switches that provide the throughput and port density required in campus edge deployments. D-Link switch hardware can also be used to run open networking OSes from companies like Pluribus Networks.

    With many vendors focusing on the enterprise, there are plenty of companies and products to choose from -- something that generally isn't the case in a mature market.

    • 2 posts
    July 31, 2019 4:30 AM HKT

    Innovation is now a top industry. It concerns absolutely all spheres and software development services. Thanks to innovations, human life and health care can be significantly improved. And also to improve life on our planet in general.

    • 1 posts
    December 20, 2019 9:05 PM HKT

    you need to innovate in every product and service that you create. Today, innovation is more than just a buzzword - it is a fine line that distinguishes a successful business mvp for startups from everyone else.

    Although most enterprises are born out of entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial thinking, they tend to soften over time. They become less visionary, more cautious, and may end up in some kind of rut. To stay on top of their game, enterprises must move out of their comfort zone and create a culture of innovation among employees, encouraging them to be creative in their ideas.

    • 1 posts
    February 19, 2020 6:42 PM HKT
    [blockquote]My Name said:

    Innovation is now a top industry. It concerns absolutely all spheres and software development services from a reputable firm like Thanks to innovations, human life and health care can be significantly improved. And also to improve life on our planet in general.


    Thanks for your opinion.
    This post was edited by Edward Bailey at June 3, 2020 5:55 PM HKT