June 17, 2013     

As we roll out our new coverage on Enterprise Edge, it is becoming clear that as folks move towards WLAN in the campus, that the type of switching infrastructure needed in the enterprise campus is about to change.  Similar to how VoIP drove a new class of switches with PoE and robust quality of service to support voice traffic, we believe that enterprises need a new type of switch to support BYOD and the surge of wireless traffic.

Besides the need for higher capacity aggregation platforms, the edge needs a new type of switch to support the large number of WLAN APs and the traffic they will be producing.  This new switch needs to connect at speeds above 1 GE per AP and provide higher levels of power.  We believe this is an opportunity for 10G Base-T, with PoE support, to get significant traction outside the data center.  If this does happen, it will be beneficial to the whole 10 GE ecosystem as the increase in overall ports will help drive down 10 GE pricing and bring 10G Base-T to more markets.  A 10G Base-T switch in a wiring closet stack would be a great fit for upcoming higher bandwidth APs.

However, we believe given the current state of standards and the timing of new APs that we will likely see some vendors use proprietary PoE standards, possibly even a hybrid speed (2.5 Gbps for example), and multiple 1 GE ports in order to utilize the full bandwidth of upcoming 802.11 AC access points.


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Alan Weckel

Posted by Alan Weckel on June 17, 2013

About Alan

Alan Weckel is Vice President of Enterprise Telephony and Ethernet Switch market research at Dell’Oro Group. He joined Dell’Oro Group in early 2006 and is also in charge of the firm's Enterprise and Data Center coverage areas.