Hold on to your hats because Terabit Ethernet is in our future – six years in the future, according to experts. John D’Ambrosia, chair of the 802.3ba Task Force in the IEEE and Bob Metcalfe, creator of Ethernet, both predict that the first commercial use of Terabit Ethernet could come as soon as 2015. That’s pretty amazing but whether, in reality, that technology would be within reach of the average enterprise is up for debate. When 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches were introduced in 2001, the average per-port cost was $39,000 and it took eight years for the price to drop to $4,000.
Right now, the industry is looking to 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet products to show up in the market by the end of the year as the bridge to Terabit Ethernet, according to a Network World article. It reports that pre-standard 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet gear, including server network interface cards, switch uplinks and switches, are expected to roll out later this year.
The IEEE P802.3ba Task Force is expected to ratify the 100GbE standard in June 2010 and compliant products are slated to ship soon after that.
If the rate of traffic continues to grow as it has – with networks having to transport high-def video, and so on – it may not take so many years for prices of compliant gear to come down. Take 40GbE for example. Industry researchers believe the price of 40GbE gear will soon come down as U.S. carriers like AT&T and Comcast demand more 40GbE equipment thus helping to commoditize the market, bringing down prices as a result, according to this TechTarget article.
The carriers, as well as companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are expected to soon be crying out for 100GbE between data centers to speed the flow of data and they will need distributed NetFlow collectors to handle the volume.
Under Moore’s law, data center network usage doubles every 24 months. With that in mind, 10GbE will not be enough for data centers in 2014 when 40GbE is expected to take over. 100GbE should meet the needs of carriers and ISPs through 2015, according to this Ixia white paper.
How soon is 40/100GbE in your future? Or are you just now playing with 10GbE?