If you want for the rapid pace of innovation in datacenter networking to continue, then you had better hope that the hyperscalers and major public cloud builders don’t run out of money.
That is because it is their collective appetite for bandwidth is paying for the network ASIC, switch, and transceiver makers to push the envelope on technology, and it is their extreme stinginess that is forcing those suppliers to push down the cost of successive generations of wares – two things that the rest of the IT sector eventually benefits from in the trickle down that is one of the core founding principles of The Next Platform.
Without those aggressive decreases in the cost of networking, the hyperscalers and cloud builders won’t buy technology, and we don’t want to think about what happens when they stop buying. That means very bad things for compute, storage and networking because Moore’s Law never did exist in a vacuum. The reason it works is not because transistors and storage media keep getting cheaper, as if there was some force of physics driving it, but because someone buys the new technology when it gets cheaper.
No buyer, no Moore’s Law. And the funny thing about hyperscalers and their cloud building peers is that they will not pay a premium for a premium technology. They expect technologies to improve at that Moore’s Law pace and they will not upgrade to a new technology until the cost per unit of capacity falls well below that of a current technology.