The global data centre fabric market has witnessed exponential growth from $5.13 billion to $15.14 billion in the last five years. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of this market has recorded an impressive 24.2%.
The trend for the adoption of fabric in data centers is emerging to map the networking demands for virtual and cloud environments in new data centers. This technology claims to reduce the tiers in the historical network architecture, promising improved agility, flexibility, and efficiency in operations. Fabric provides a simplified network by utilizing the advantages of tech innovations such as cloud computing, thus reducing infrastructural cost by effectively consolidating data centers. Fabric channels, along with Ethernet switches, are the basic block for converging storage networking and server sharing infrastructure. The best part of this infrastructure is its scalability to meet the fast-paced demand escalation.
The increasing trend of virtualization and cloud computing is indicating high growth recorded in the Fabric adoption in data centers across the globe. HP, Dell, Cisco, IBM, Brocade, Juniper, and Extreme Networks are the key players in this market. With shrinking IT budgets, data centre fabric market is emerging due to its cost-effective and efficient networking solutions. In data centers, fabric represents thousands of servers interlinked with other storage devices in an ultra-low latency infrastructure. Top firms are adopting data centre fabric solutions to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
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The fabric networking market is thriving, replacing the legacy networking infrastructure to a greater extent. This market is spread across diverse industry verticals which include banking, high tech, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), government, media and entertainment, healthcare, retail, education, and other verticals. The Ethernet fabric market has witnessed multiplication in the range of offerings, market interest, and customer adoption in the last couple of years.
Industry experts have certified the fabric network market as the “almost perfect load balancing” strategy. With its adoption, there is a significant fall in the total number of devices required for operation, which reduces both cap-ex and op-ex. Firms have cited savings of hundreds and thousands of dollars in the first year of services itself. It also makes the entire processing cycle faster with almost 20% reduction in the time spent on essential network management. Fabrics are self-healing and self-aware, automatically redistributing traffic in the event of a link outage to avoid performance degradation or disruption. Automation of the entire process reduces the chances of human error significantly decreasing the downtime.
Many of the Ethernet fabric products are based on an access layer-based approach to directly addresses the pains like- latency and unnecessary load on core switches incurred for the east-west traffic patterns. Some fabric switches can be deployed in traditional STP mode first, before switching to the final fabric mode, making it more consumer friendly. In addition, the adoption of fabric technology does not require new skill sets or specialized training for employees.
Firms who adopted the technology recommend it due to its Network Operating System (NOS) and management layer with software protocols ensuring high performance by maintaining low operational overhead. The most recommended feature of network fabric remains to be its storage and convergence capacity. With the tech evolution accommodating Layer 3 fabrics, it will be mandated to use storage technology that is both easy to virtualize and routable. With the fast pace adoption of Fabric networking, firms need to also have a sophisticated, modular, and extensible network operating system with open and interoperable network architecture. By taking a holistic view to data centre networking, a more robust, cost-effective, simplified, and high-performance fabric can be deployed to address evolving customer needs.