Week in research: Ethernet switch demand climbs; SBC security a critical function

Demand pushes Ethernet switches to the limit:  As data centers migrate to 10G Ethernet for server access, demand for unique features in Ethernet switches is climbing, says Dell'Oro Group. "For the first time in the market, customers are consolidating data centers and connecting those servers to the network with three different speeds, Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and 40 Gigabit Ethernet," said Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell'Oro. "Moving infrastructure towards the hosted environment of the cloud and looking towards Software Defined Networking is resulting in a battle for supremacy in data center." In 2011, Avaya, Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Dell, Extreme, HP (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Juniper (NYSE: JNPR) were the largest vendors in the data center in terms of revenue. News release

Google brings broadband access to Africa: Kenya has a total Internet capacity of 8.4 Tbps, but only 6 percent of that capacity is being used, according to a TeleGeography report. Cost is a big barrier to access, Joseph Mucheru, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) sub-Saharan Africa ambassador, told Capital FM. A Google-sponsored initiative, Wazi WiFi, could change all that. The project has 200 WiFi hotspots in place in Nairobi; subscribers pay KES 50 (USD 0.57) for unlimited daily access or KES 500 (USD 5.85) for a monthly subscription. Article

SBC security is top-of-mind for customers: Service providers using session border controllers (SBCs) in their deployments are increasingly adopting a multi-vendor approach, a new Infonetics Research survey shows, but the majority are also concerned about SBC's role in network security. "The move toward a multi-vendor strategy is clear: 41% of respondents use multiple SBC vendors today, growing to 67% by 2014," notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research. "This represents an opportunity for a number of up-and-coming SBC vendors, such as Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS) and Metaswitch, along with larger vendors Huawei, Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), and GENBAND." The 51 service providers responding indicated the top applications for SBCs include interconnection to other service providers, SIP trunking and hosted business VoIP, while 88 percent said security is the SBC's most important function. Release

Infonetics top applications for Session Border Controllers