Thursday, August 30, 2012
The networking landscape has had a foggy future for the past few months. Some organizations, particularly companies that provide web-based services, have been clamoring for a new standard that will bring Ethernet performance capabilities to somewhere between 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps. These efforts have been opposed by companies claiming that it is still too expensive and time consuming to get to 10 Gbps, making any standard expansion too much, too soon.
After having a research team analyze the various sides of the issue, the IEEE has decided that the changing condition of the network, which increasingly handles data-rich applications, services and video content, demands more bandwidth and better performance. As a result, the leading standards body will create a working group to develop a new Ethernet standard that will support speeds reaching between 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps, CNET reported.
According to the news source, IEEE engineers recently spent an extended period in July researching current and future network requirements before setting the direction for the new standard. Their findings made it clear that a major step forward is necessary.
John D'Ambrosia, chair of new Higher-Speed Ethernet Consensus Group, which will complete the research necessary to create a foundation for the working group, told the news source that enterprise bandwidth requirements in 2015 will be 10 times what they were in 2010. By 2020, they will be 100 times greater than they were in 2010, making better Ethernet critical.
"People realize 400-gig Ethernet is technically and economically feasible. When you look at terabit ethernet, it's driven solely by demand," D'Ambrosia told CNET. "People know there's a tsunami of data coming. It's basic math: terabit is more than 400-gig, so we want a terabit. That's nice, but one has to worry about the technical feasibility and the economic feasibility."
As companies consider how they will build their network systems for the future, fiber-optic cabling infrastructure will likely play a major role in the process. Copper is likely to be outmoded when 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps Ethernet become more common. As a result, organizations may have to evaluate the possibility of increasing their use of optical cabling systems within data center and enterprise configurations. However, end users and many other internal network functions will likely be able to get by with copper, making media conversion tools a valuable asset for many organizations.
Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.