The answer isn’t clear, but key elements that factor into the outcome are available. Bandwidth demand is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years.
According to Cisco, Global IP traffic has increased eightfold over the past 5 years, and will increase fourfold over the next 5 years. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32 percent from 2010 to 2015. High performance servers are now being equipped with standard 10G interface cards and there’s been a significant rise in the recent shipment of 100GBase LR4 modules.
These trends suggest potential prototyping and trial activity underway among 100 Gbps vendors and service providers. Most service providers appear to be skipping the 10G to 40G to 100G evolution in favor of the direct 10G to 100G path. The US Research and Education Community through ANI (Advanced Networking Initiative) is actively deploying 100G test beds for review and analysis.
The question of “when, not if” 100G becomes the standard in transport deployment is contingent upon continued advances in hardware platform technology and accompanying cost reductions. The sooner that significant savings in price points per bit can be rationalized by service providers, the more momentum can be created to implement 100G platforms.
Currently, industry analysts predict that large scale shipments for 100G platforms will take place between 2013 & 2014 once the industry is able to transition through several more hardware development cycles.