Solarflare offers 10-GbE forecast

January 30, 2008 -- The company's CTOs have published their opinions on technology trends for 2008, predicting widespread adoption of 10-GbE in data centers and enterprises to support advanced applications and enable higher efficiency.

January 30, 2008 -- Growing network demands coupled with "going green" initiatives will drive high-performance solutions that are both cost and power efficient, according to Solarflare Communications, provider of standards-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) silicon.

The company's two CTOs, George Zimmerman and Steve Pope, have published their opinions on technology trends for 2008, predicting widespread adoption of 10-GbE in data centers and enterprises to support advanced applications and enable higher efficiency.

The published opinions are as follows:

1. Increasing power, cooling and footprint costs, combined with a growing number of applications, users and transactions, drive the need for server and storage virtualization, as well as application and storage network convergence to fully realize the potential of both virtualization and convergence, enterprises and data centers will move to 10-GbE networks to address cost and power efficiency issues along with ever-increasing business demands.

2. Until now, virtualization and 10 gigabit networking were specialized technologies. In 2007, VMware went public and Citrix acquired XenSource. These companies' technologies have become more mature, stable, secure and accepted. In 2008, to make virtualization a reality and enable mass-market adoption, major industry players including VMware, XenSource/Citrix and Microsoft will focus on virtualized operating systems optimized for 10-GbE.

3. Storage Area Networks (SANs) will adopt 10-GbE networks as their core infrastructure, with the proliferation of iSCSI and the introduction of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE) products by the storage vendors. By optimizing for, and deploying over, 10-GbE I/O performance bottlenecks for virtualized platforms will be removed. Data centers will become completely virtualized with the ability to run I/O intensive applications such as High Performance Computing (HPC) and financial services on virtualized machines.

4. Industry market forces pushing for energy efficiency will outstrip government demands. Data centers will increasingly focus on efficiency, moving beyond power distribution. Activities ranging from company led initiatives (such as 'Climate Savers Computing' launched by Intel and Google) to task forces in industry-standards organizations, paired with next generation technology developments, will provide solutions that by far surpass those the government proposes.

5. 10-GbE links will become a cost- and energy-efficient alternative for aggregated gigabit links. With virtualization driving more fully utilized links, and second generation 10GBASE-T PHYS enjoying power reductions of 50% or more, 10 gigabit will finally break through in cost and energy efficiency, per bit-per-second transferred. And with the worldwide rollout of 10GBASE-T server adapters and switches from major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), 10-GbE will finally fulfill its promise as the next level in efficient, high-performance networking.

"2008 will see tremendous demand for virtualization and convergence," says Pope. "Enterprises and data centers can now easily and cost-effectively upgrade their network infrastructure to 10-GbE and support these advanced applications."

"Energy and power efficiency will continue to be top-of-mind for CIOs and IT administrators this year," adds Zimmerman. "Huge advancements have been made in 10-GbE technology and efficient, standards-based, high-performance solutions are now available."

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