Network data speeds keep going up -

Network data speeds keep going up

Ethernet provides the most cost effective means for data transport. With 10 GbE, 40 GbE and 100 GbE prices coming down, it's economically feasible for many companies to upgrade their network infrastructure. As I discussed in 400 Gbit Ethernet: The Next Leap about 400 GbE networking, companies are often forced to upgrade as we continue to see a rapid expansion in the number and use of new bandwidth-hogging applications. Surprisingly, we've not seen the market for lower and higher speeds grow at the same pace.

From 25 GbE to 100 GbE to 400 GbE
Despite the drop in prices, I believe the 25 GbE market is moving surprisingly slow, but we'll see the speed of adoption increase with the formation of the IEEE 802.3 25 Gb/s Ethernet Study Group. The group was created with the goal to address 25 Gb/s Ethernet for next-generation data centers. The new IEEE 802.3 group will study standardizing single-lane 25 Gb/s Ethernet interconnect technologies to provide greater server bandwidth to cloud-scale data centers.

Unlike most IEEE standards, which can take four or more years to develop, 25 Gb/s could move more rapidly because the signaling and single-lane technology for 25G was developed during the 100G Ethernet process, which is ten lanes of 10 GbE or four lanes of 25 GbE. All the IEEE has to do is rewrite existing physical layer specs, which could produce a standard in as little as 18 months.

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