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At a recent Emerging Technology Forum in Portland USA, experts from leading network infrastructure companies Siemon, Cisco, Intel and Aquantia addressed key advances and considerations in the trend towards increasing market adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T) technologies in the data centre.
Topics covered were key 10GBASE-T market drivers and projections, the evolution of server connectivity, decreasing power needs and cabling design options with 10GBASE-T, and others. This event offered actionable advice for networking professionals on critical 10GbE decision points across the data centre infrastructure.
Panel contributors included Dave Chalupsky, Intel Network Architect, Carl Hansen, senior product manager with Intel’s Data Centre Standards group, Carrie Higbie, Siemon’s global director of data centre solutions & services, Sudeep Goswami, product line manager of Cisco’s Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit and group chair for the Ethernet Alliance 10GBASE-T committee and Sean Lundy, director of technical marketing at Aquantia.
According to Siemon’s Carrie Higbie, category 6A and higher connectivity is being planned in new data centres, “85% of the new data centre designs we see are cabling for 10GBASE-T.” Higbie also noted a continuing upswing in the global use of shielded cabling for 10GBASE-T, including the traditional UTP dominant markets such as the US.
Siemon has been marketing and selling 10GBASE-T ready cabling since 2004 and now that 10GBASE-T equipment and power consumption is becoming more economical, the time has come for customers to take full advantage of their category 6A and higher cabling investment.
Among the event highlights were Aquantia’s Sean Lundy and Intel’s Carl Hansen and Dave Chalupsky providing insight on how chip innovations from their respective companies were expected to significantly drive down 10GBASE-T power requirements for more energy-efficient 10GbE networks. According to Lundy, “The current 40nm generation can already achieve power of a couple of watts for connectivity within the rack in data centres and will trend to 1 watt or less with energy efficient ethernet and migration to finer geometries. We have now achieved a power, area, density envelope that has enabled dual-port LAN on Motherboard (LOM). Between LOM and 48-port high density switching, in 2011, we will see the beginning of the hockey stick growth curve for 10GBASE-T”.
Regarding widespread commercial availability of 10GBASE-T equipment, Cisco’s Sudeep Goswami stated that Cisco is serious about 10GBASE-T and projected that the company’s flagship Nexus product family would join its Catalyst line in supporting 10GBASE-T in 2011.