Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

10G Ethernet Moving from Fiber to Copper

Faster speeds are something that IT departments constantly desire. 10G bps transmissions have been relegated to backbone switch connections but are starting to make their way into servers and storage systems because of less expensive cabling.Intel unveiled a network adapter that delivers 10G bps performance over standard copper cables, so small and medium businesses do not have to purchase more expensive fiber optics media. The chipmakers 10 Gbit AT Server Adapter, which supports 1G bps and 10G bps transmission rates, provides 328-foot network transmission over CAT 6a cables, as well as 180 feet over CAT 6 wiring. The adapter is built to be used in servers attached to local area networks or devices in storage area networks.

In addition, the microprocessor features Intel's virtual machine device queues technology that handles the sorting of data among software run virtual machines. By offloading this sorting function to the adapter rather than a virtual machine monitor, the company claims that data can be moved more quickly. The 10 Gbit AT Server Adapter, which is scheduled to ship at the end of the month, costs $999. Dell plans to use the new adapter in upcoming models of its PowerConnect Ethernet switch.

Many companies are deploying bandwidth intensive applications, such as video transmissions, business analytics, and multimedia. As these applications gain traction, network bottlenecks arise, often among data center devices. The new Intel adapter is designed to help companies address such shortcomings. One limitation is the devices price: $1,000 is a bit much for many small and medium businesses to spend on higher speed data center connections. Intel as well as other chip suppliers need to work on lowering their manufacturing costs and driving up volume of such chips before they will become more attractive to mid-sized enterprises.

What type of network connections do you have now in your data center? Are any bottlenecks emerging? How much are you willing to pay for a 10G bps adapter?