Enterprise adoption of smartNICs faces challenges

Dell'Oro: Cost and expertise are two obstacles to enterprise use of smartNICs, but the NIC makers are working to eliminate them.

network speed

Growth in hyperscaler data centers and processor-intensive enterprise workloads, such as high-performance computing (HPC) and AI, is set to drive broadscale adoption of SmartNICs.

The Ethernet controller and adapter market will grow from $3.2 billion in 2021 to $5 billion in 2026, with smartNICs contributing significantly to the growth, according to Dell’Oro Group. In addition, server network connectivity will transition to higher speeds, according to the research firm, which predicts 100 Gbps and higher-speed ports will account for 44% of the shipments in five years.

The standard issue 25Gbit NIC port is more than enough for enterprises doing basic networking tasks such as database and Web serving, but Dell’Oro Group sees an opportunity at the higher end for smartNICs, which better manage network traffic and take the networking load off CPUs.


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