When you think of 10GB Ethernet, you probably think of an esoteric technology primarily used in large enterprises and high-performance computing applications. You're mostly right, but not for long.I spent some time today with Kartik Srinivasan, manager of product line marketing at Chelsio Communications, an 8-year-old company where 10GbE adapters are their "bread and butter." We talked about how the technology is taking holld in high-performance-computing (HPC) applications in the oil and gas, financial services, and education markets, as well as in high-volume storage applications.
But we also talked about how competes with other high-throughput technologies like fibre channel and InfiniBand. Srinivasan pointed out that, unlike those technologies, 10GbE provides similar performance using good old ethernet, which makes it particularly well-suited for smaller organizations. Chelsio calls it "unified wire," but the idea is that no IT specialization is required to manage it --Chelsio's 10GbE adapters use the same software as its 1GbE adapters -- so it's a good fit for SMB servers and other environments where you need to move large amounts of data very quickly.
But that's only the beginning. The next step is to move 10GbE adapters from dedicated cards to just another ASIC on the motherboard, bringing the technology to the masses. Srinivasan says we will begin to see that happen in a big way by mid 2010.
If you ask me, it's about time everyone got a major-league speed bump from hooking up to an ethernet cable.