Interop Las Vegas 2014 was a good show and while the construction boom in Las Vegas seems to be back in full swing, Interop has not bounced back in size. Some large vendors, like Juniper, were missing and there was not a large number of new product announcements. The biggest news, unrelated to the show, was Arista filing their S1 in preparation for an IPO.
What was clear for us, much like the changing skyline of Las Vegas, is that the Cloud / SDN / NFV are significantly changing how vendors compete. It seems that the entire IT stack, from software to hardware is being turned upside down in how it is produced and consumed. OPEX is in favor instead of CAPEX and the nearly trillion dollar IT market is not growing significantly, so the transition to a new IT will cause a lot of vendor casualties and partners turning into competitors as budgets shift within IT.
Looking specifically at Ethernet Switching, Interop confirmed a new trend that has been emerging since the beginning of 2014, namely the contention around the server market transitions to higher speeds beyond 10 GE. Exiting 2013, the industry consensus was 40 GE, but exiting Interop, that consensus is now up-in-the-air with a new camp of vendors and Cloud providers pushing 25 GE. 25 GE has a lot of potential as the 100 GE spec is four lanes of 25 GE, so there can be a lot of economies of scale and consistent design with that approach.
Ultimately, the winner between these speeds will likely be decided based on which solutions drive early market volume at a better cost.