10-Gigabit Ethernet Stretches To Meet VOD Needs

The wholesale move to 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) is accelerating, as telecom suppliers race to beef up their offerings to meet the growing needs of video-on-demand.

July 22, 2005

2 Min Read
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The wholesale move to 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) is accelerating, as telecom suppliers race to beef up their offerings to meet the growing demand from telecom service providers and to meet the emerging demand for video-on-demand (VOD).

"As 1-Gigabit Ethernet links to enterprise customer locations increase, there is a need for a higher bandwidth connection like 10-Gigabit Ethernet to transport aggregated traffic across the Metro," said IDC's optical networks analyst Sterling Perrin in an interview. "Initially it was cheaper for (service providers) to buy ten 1-Gigabit Ethernet pipes, rather than a single 10-Gigabit Ethernet connection. Now, 10-Gigabit Ethernet costs have come down to a point where it makes sense to deploy it."

Perrin's remarks coincide with earlier developments this week in which Broadcom agreed to acquire Siliquent Technologies, which manufactures 10GbE network controllers (NICs), and 10GbE protocol technology developer Chelsio Communications released a study by Ohio State University and Los Alamos supercomputing experts touting the rapidly-emerging technology.

Perrin said acceptance of 10GbE technology is being driven by different factors--prices are plunging and new high-bandwidth applications are luring suppliers. In addition to overall upgrading of their networks by services providers, Perrin noted that pressure to deploy VOD is also behind the move to 10GbE.

"VOD consumes massive bandwidth in the network and VOD servers have Ethernet interfaces," Perrin said. "So, carriers and cable (providers) are already running 10GbE links from their VOD servers to their distribution networks."The analyst said Cisco Systems, already the leader in Ethernet, will likely remain in the forefront of the move to 10GbE with Nortel Networks, Foundry, and Extreme expected to play major roles in the emerging networking technology. Other companies, such as Broadcom, are improving their 10GbE offerings through acquisitions. In announcing its acquisition of Siliquent this week, Broadcom said it expects the offering resulting from the acquisition to offer stiff competition to networking technologies Infiniband and Fibre Channel.

Chelsio this week presented Dr. D. K. Panda, professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State, and Dr. Wu Feng, a research and development expert at Los Alamos, to sing the praises of 10GbE with TCP Offload Engine. Chelsio's CEO Kianoosh Naghshineh said 10GbE with TOE will play a big role in future supercomputing developments.

"Gigabit Ethernet-based clusters have cornered 42 percent of the Top500 Supercomputer list, more than any other interconnect technology," he said in a statement. "10GbE TOE is poised to become a dominant interconnect technology."

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