10 Gigabit Ethernet rising
Gigabit Ethernet is going to be a popular option for connecting backbones using
fibre. 2006 will also be the year when 10 GbE over copper overcomes the present
distance limitations and moves out of the data centre. by Sneha Khanna
10 Gigabit Ethernet is the highest-speed network connectivity option available
today. It can be deployed through optical fibre and copper. There are various
standards such as IEEE 802.3ae and IEEE 802.3ak already in place. The much talked
about IEEE 802.3an is also expected to be ratified in 2006, which will provide
a boost for 10 GbE over copper.
Bandwidth All The Way
10 GbE over fibre using the 802.3ae protocol is most favoured in data centres
and is expected to be deployed on the maximum scale during 2006. SB Patankar,
Chief Technology Officer, Bombay Stock Exchange predicts, Data centres
are one of the segments which will deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet at a rapid pace.
The initial installations will be for riser backbones, data centres and
other bandwidth-hungry applications. This technology provides investment protection,
faster throughputs, and a huge bandwidth boost from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Deployment
across enterprises will grow exponentially once active products are ready for
the market, agrees Prasanna Kumar, Director, India & SAARC, Systimax
10 Gbps has reached the stage where customers are connecting
their database servers using this technology, says Sanjay Kharade, Regional
Manager, System Engineering, Enterprise, West, Cisco Systems. He adds, Ethernet
is already 1 GbE, uplinks are moving to 10 GbE, inter switch connectivity is
10 GbE. So storage also will move to 10 GbE by 2006.
Data centres, server farms and other bandwidth-intensive applications
(such as education, software development, IT enabled services) are already looking
towards 10 GbE or are already on 10 GbE, says Rajiv Kapoor, GM, Business
Development, D-Link India.
Though data centres are deploying the technology on a massive scale, other segments
across the enterprise also seem to be leveraging the benefits of 10 GbE. Segments
such as service providers and large enterprises are also adopting this technology.
Java Girdhar, Country Head (India & SAARC), Juniper Networks explains, Service
providers and large enterprises are segments which are looking forward to adopting
this technology. Sectors such as government and banks are also likely to adopt
this technology. Animation is yet another area which is adopting 10 GbE
Quenching Bandwidth Hunger
LAN backbones are expected to adopt the technology ASAP. Says Kapoor, 10
GbE will encompass all IP networks across enterprises. 10 GbE is the preferred
LAN backbone connectivity today. He adds, With 100 Mbps Ethernet
to each desktop and GbE connecting the wiring closet switches to the backbone
switches, 10 GbE provides a scalable interconnection between the LAN backbone
switches. Most enterprises are already migrating to GbE on the desktop. 10 GbE
is the preferred interconnect for most enterprises.
10 GbE is expected to be deployed in video streaming
to the desktop, aggregations between server farm and service provider
data centres, data centre communication, from LAN switches to storage
networks, and grid computing
10 GbE is expected to be deployed in video streaming to the
desktop, aggregations between server farm and service provider data centres,
data centre communication, from LAN switches to storage networks, and grid computing.
Kharade says, 10 GbE is increasingly being adopted in desktop and server
farms, in campus buildings.
On the Indian scene 10 GbE is already happening in building LAN, that
is, uplink. For example, 10 GbE uplinks from the switches to the core are expected
to happen in six to eight months, explains Kharade and adds, If
inter switch links such as two large Ethernet switches have to communicate,
it will require 10 GbE. On the server side also NICs will be 10 GbE.
The Copper Way
One of the major trends on the 10-gigabit front is 10 GbE over copper (802.3ak).
It is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the near future.
Initial installations of 10 GbE over copper are expected
to be at data centres for SANs and other bandwidth-hungry applications.
The technology is being marketed as a one-point solution for 10 Mbps to
10 Gbps that provides future proofing in terms of bandwidth and throughput
The initial installations of 10 GbE over copper are expected
to be at data centres for SANs and other bandwidth-hungry applications. The
technology is being marketed as a one-point solution for 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps
that provides future proofing in terms of bandwidth and throughput.
Kapoor opines, Coupled with the momentum in GbE over copper market, 10
GbE is strengthening the wave of technology migration in the industry offering
a scalable, efficient and unified network architecture for enterprises and service
Dileep Kumar, Product Manager, ADC Krone says, Earlier we used to provide
solutions for backbone connections over fibre in data centres but now we are
providing horizontal cabling for the same.
802.3an: Cut To Fit
The IEEE 802.3ak standard over copper lines (10GBase-CX4) is currently ratified
for a maximum distance of 15 metres. The new IEEE 802.3an standard for 10GBASE-T
has a distance limitation of 50 metres at present. This is expected to be extended
to 100 metres when it is ratified in 2006.
Kharade expects 10GBASE-T to win because it uses ubiquitous
Cat 5 copper cabling: CX4 was developed for InfiniBand cable, a more specialised
variety that uses eight pairs of wire, twice as many as Cat 5. When 10GBASE-T
becomes available, there will be no rationale to adopt CX 4. The industrys
first 10 GbE NIC for full-duplex operation over a single Cat 5e Unshielded Twisted
Pair (UTP) cable will also be available with 802.3an.
|One sector which is expected to adopt 10 GbE in a
major way during 2006 is the animation industry. Animation is another
key vertical for 10 GbE. Crest Animation Studios is at the forefront in
utilising 10 GbE for animation, reveals Rajiv Kapoor, GM, Business
Development, D-Link India.
Crest utilises 10 GbE to interconnect two buildings
and let artists store and retrieve massive amounts of image data from
storage. The recently deployed 10 GbE network cuts down the time it takes
for artists to transfer the images to rendering servers giving them more
time for production of quality images while meeting production deadlines.
Speed, Speed, Speed
Speed is the biggest motivator in the adoption of 10 GbE over copper. Kumar
explains, Ethernet is already scalable from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Soon it
will be scalable to 10 Gbps over copper. He adds, According to one
of the largest equipment manufacturers, the Ethernet industry is already shipping
250,000 1 Gbps ports every month. This clearly indicates that faster technology
is required because of congestion caused by high-bandwidth traffic over todays
100 Mbps networks. The slower 100 Mbps networks are being converted into 1 Gbps
networks to alleviate these conditions. At some point network managers will
need to aggregate their Gigabit Ethernet networks onto 10 Gbps networks for
the same reasons.
The New Face Of IP SAN
10 GbE over copper is expected to bring in change in
IP SANs. IP SAN will move towards 10 GbE as it offers a simplified and
cost-effective interconnect mechanism when compared to other technologies
available to SAN manufacturers
10 GbE over copper is expected to bring in change in IP SANs.
IP SAN will move towards 10 GbE as it offers a simplified and cost-effective
interconnect mechanism when compared to other technologies available to SAN
Adoption of 10 GbE over copper will make high speed IP SANs a viable option,
Price will be a barrier to adoption. Kharade feels, 10 GbE iSCSI will
almost certainly come at a premium. As is the case with Fibre Channels
move from 2 Gbps to 4, iSCSI customers will want the extra bandwidth without
the extra price. He explains, Customers of iSCSI are thought to
be even more price-sensitive as the technologys low cost is a major driving
force behind IP SAN adoption. No one is talking about what 10-GbE iSCSI might
cost. Lack of affordable cabling is another factor that works against 10-GbE
IP-SANs. The only cheap copper cabling available today is the same type used
for InfiniBand, and that does not transmit data beyond 100 metres. Copper cabling
that overcomes the distance limitation is expected in mid-2006.
Overall, 10 GbE is being deployed everywhere. Service providers, large enterprises,
education, software development houses and IT enabled services are segments
Be it any business or application, 10 Gigabit Ethernet is poised to win the
race. Indian enterprises will be adopting this technology in a big way during