Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms and white box switches are at the core of the New IP that service providers will be using to deliver next-generation cloud and mobile services. The COTS ecosystem is responding to service provider demands with a comprehensive range of open solutions that implement software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and related technologies. COTS platforms are being developed that support open architectures and are scalable to take advantage of the latest multicore processors and 100G Ethernet switches. These new developments include Open Compute, Intel Rack Scale and ATCA 3 R4.0. Some of these solutions are backward compatible with previous generations of COTS hardware.
This report analyzes how telecom equipment manufacturers use COTS platforms and white box switches, based on the results of an exclusive worldwide survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel that work for telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The responses to our survey make it clear that these platforms are widely used in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.