Hyperscale and large data centers will need 400G connections to support rapidly growing server input/output (I/O) as the combination of higher server density and a shift to 25Gbit/s drives server I/O bandwidth per rack to 5 Tbit/s. Cloud service providers are already planning 400G deployments and expect widespread use of 400G within data centers by 2018. Many component vendors have introduced first-generation 400G components and are working on optimized solutions for introduction during 2017 and 2018.
Cloud services accessed by individuals and businesses from mobile devices and fixed-line connections are driving a huge growth in global IP traffic. These services include online storage, social media, big data processing, Internet of Things (IoT) services and audio/video content delivery. Many of these services are hosted on hyperscale data centers operated by leading service providers, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The shift toward virtualization using software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) is also driving growth in East-West traffic between servers.