40 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches, a Layer 2 comeback

40 Gigabit Ethernet in the data center: Virtualization will drive innovation in the data center, and vendors will offer enterprise customers 40 Gigabit Ethernet. "[Virtualization] really hasn't impacted the network yet, but it's starting to," Kerravala said. "It'll push along 10 [Gigabit Ethernet adoption] and I think we'll see 40 [Gigabit Ethernet] products next year."

Diving back into Layer 2: Most enterprises are using native Ethernet, but Kerravala said virtualization will spur a return to TCP/IP. "From a virtualization standpoint, it's faster to do things at Layer 2," he said. "I think you'll see vendors spend a lot of time marketing TCP/IP as the primary protocol…. In some ways, it's 'Back to the Future.'"

WAN optimization: Layers 4 through 7 will also gain continued attention for wide-area network optimization products, Kerravala said, with F5 Networks and Riverbed as the market leaders. "The more reliant companies become on their network," he said, "the more important it is the networks be able to handle the different types of applications."

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