Since the IEEE 802.3ae standard was ratified in mid-2002, 10 Gigabit Ethernet port shipments have grown from hundreds of ports per quarter to tens-of-thousands of ports per quarter. This rapid
growth in 10 Gigabit Ethernet deployments can be attributed to a number of factors, including:
• Significant 10 Gigabit Ethernet Price-per-Port Improvements-Current 10 Gigabit Ethernet pricing is now less than one-fifth the pricing in mid-2002. As a result, 10 Gigabit Ethernet price and performance today, including cost of optics, is comparable to Gigabit Ethernet-over-fiber price and performance in intelligent modular switches.
• New Optics have Enabled Broader 10 Gigabit Ethernet Deployments-The availability of new optics now enables 10 Gigabit Ethernet to be deployed anywhere from the data center to the wiring closet, using existing fiber cabling.
• Increasing Bandwidth Factors-First, Gigabit Ethernet-to-desktops deployments have grown to several million ports per quarter by the end of 2004. This broad adoption has significantly increased the oversubscription ratios of the rest of the network. 10 Gigabit Ethernet can help bring these oversubscription ratios back in line with network-design best practices. Second, server adapter and PCI bus advancements have enabled servers to generate more than 7 Gbps of traffic, increasing demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to servers. Finally, new applications are accelerating the need for 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance throughout the campus, within a data center, and between data centers. These applications are described in more detail in later sections.
These factors are expected to continue to fuel the momentum of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet market, which is expected to rapidly grow from US $385 million in 2004 to US$2.9 billion in 2009, according to the Dell'Oro Group.
This paper discusses the 10 Gigabit Ethernet technologies and applications that are relevant for enterprise networks. 10 Gigabit Ethernet technologies and applications for service provider deployments (such as WAN PHY and intra-point of presence [PoP] interconnects) are beyond the scope of this paper.
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