10-Gigabit Ethernet specification is ratified

Aug. 1, 2002
With the ratification in June of the 10-Gigabit Ethernet specification, vendors are ready to hit the market with the electronics that will power it.

With the ratification in June of the 10-Gigabit Ethernet specification, vendors are ready to hit the market with the electronics that will power it. Ten Gigabit Ethernet is a high-speed, unifying technology for networking applications in LANs, MANs, and WANs. It is designed to provide simple, high bandwidth at relatively low cost.

Bruce Tolley, vice president of the 10-Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, says the ratification will let enterprises confidently deploy the technology in their corporate backbones, data centers and server farms. Brad Booth, director for the 10-Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, adds that, at least in the beginning, 10-Gigabit Ethernet will be primarily sought by medical and governmental institutions that can make good use of the high bandwidth applications. These are so-called "big server" OEMs that are now expected to begin bringing the equipment in-house to evaluate it.

"I think in a lot of cases, people are ready for it," says Booth. But, he cautions, "With the current economic conditions, it's hard to say when there will be a push for Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop in the enterprise market."

Electronics for 10-Gigabit Ethernet probably won't be generally available until 2003. By that time, vendors hope there will be a sense in the marketplace that the technology is coming into its own.

"A lot of guys in the industry are happy with what we've come up with," says Booth, "and we feel there is a huge improvement over what was there before." Vendors are now in production of 10-Gigabit equipment, and Booth says a host of companies are sampling switches, routers, and adapters that will power it.

"Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Nortel Networks, Intel, and Agilent have got test equipment available," says Booth. "Obviously, people out there are positioning themselves for the lead."

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