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Ethernet: The Need For Speed

When it comes to Ethernet networks, there's only one speed worth talking about--fast. And these days, the fastest realistic speed is 10 gigabits.

At one time, 10-gigabit speed may have seemed beyond the reach of most Ethernet networks, but today it's increasingly common. In fact, says a report by the Virginia-based market-research firm CIR, 10-gigabit Ethernet solutions are becoming dominant. The firm said that 10-Gigabit Ethernet devices will account for two-thirds of deliveries next year and almost 80 percent in 2009.

What does that mean in terms of dollars? A cool $570 million next year and $3.3 billion by 2009.

There are plenty of reasons why 10-gigabit Ethernet is taking off. As IP-based applications, such as VoIP, IP Telephony, and media streaming, become mainstream, enterprises, and even small and medium-sized businesses, have a growing need for speed and bandwidth.

And 10-gigabit Ethernet is much cheaper than are previous high-speed networking technologies. The CIR study noted that OC-192 router ports are 50 times more expensive than the average 10-Gigabit Ethernet port, so there's understandably a drop of interest in SONET/SDH transmission technology.

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