Routers have been a critical WAN technology since the late 1980s. With the advent of the commercial Internet in the mid-1990s, this market saw rapid expansion. About five years after Internet Service Providers (ISPs) adopted router technology, telecom service providers mimicked ISPs. They began using routing and Internet Protocol architectures as their underlying transport and access systems. As the telecom industry modified its networks, the router market expanded further.
The routing market is experiencing a significant shift towards software-based routing, driven initially by architecture changes within cloud hyperscalers. This has driven interest in purchasing decisions for ASICs, hardware, software, and optics separately.
The 650 Group report, Disaggregated Router Forecast 2022-2027, forecasts that the global disaggregated router market will exceed US$5 Billion in revenue by 2027.
“The development of software-based routing technology that can be sold separately from routing hardware has spawned the disaggregated routing market, causing soaring growth,” said Alan Weckel, a technology analyst at 650 Group.
"Telco SPs benefit from the economies of scale of Ethernet and the massive scale-out architectures of the Cloud. In 2022, we saw significant expansion at Telco SPs, and trials moved toward production deployments. As time passes, we will also see the deployment of ZR/ZR+ optics, and the optical metro edge collapses into the routing tier.”Alan Weckel