As an enterprise network becomes more and more an integral part of every aspect of business processes, operators are looking for application awareness to properly treat and prioritize traffic flows or apply the desired transport policies. The network needs to be able to identify applications, even if they are encrypted. As enterprises set up early networks, the question of how to get applications to interact with each other became a pressing business concern. Different routing applications require different system solutions.

Convergence is a recurring theme in all kinds of layers of the data center these days. Servers and storage are being mashed up, and in other cases servers and networking are. Various layers of the network fabric are also starting to be converged, and now it is time for switching and routing in the data center to come together.

Healthy enterprise demand and rising traffic on wide area networks (WANs) helped the global enterprise router market return to growth in 2015, lifting it 3 percent from the prior year, according to IHS.

"Overall, 2015 was a decent year for the enterprise routing market, with growth driven by economic expansion and rising traffic on wide area networks," said Matthias Machowinski, research director for enterprise networks and video at IHS. "We expect further gains in 2016, but there are risk factors, including the potential for a slowing economy in the U.S. and prolonged hesitation by service providers as they evaluate the impact of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) on their network architectures," he added.

The enterprise router revenue was estimated at USD 3.7 billion in 2015. The upswing in the enterprise router market was somewhat offset by pockets of weakness in the service provider vertical, as well as in China and Japan/low-end routers, whose revenue grew 28 percent in 2015 and continue to take share at the expense of the mid-range and branch office segments.

IPv6. IPv4 users can move to IPv6 and receive services such as end-to-end security, quality of service (QoS), and globally unique addresses. The IPv6 address space reduces the need for private addresses and network address translation (NAT) processing by border routers at network edges.

By expanding the length of IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits, IPv6 creates a virtually limitless supply of addresses. Inventory is critical to leading service providers that today are not only delivering communications and entertainment services to a growing number of customer premise equipment (CPE) and consumer electronic devices, but also enabling new solutions that leverage even more 
IP-enabled endpoints within an Internet of Things (IoT) framework. In addition to supporting the anticipated exponential growth of IoT devices, IPv6 enhances security and enables devices to communicate more directly, issues of vital concern to service providers as they launch or expand their offerings in the connected home market.

By demonstrating proper IPv6 readiness, CE router manufacturers gain a competitive advantage. Four customer edge (CE) routers have now been approved for the IPv6 Ready CE Router Logo, and devices from Broadcom, Netgear (2 models), and ZTE bear a mark established by the IPv6 Ready Logo Committee (v6LC).


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