For the enterprise, it's not just that increasingly mountainous amounts of data have to be stored -- it has to be moved, too. And the more you've got, the faster your network needs to be to keep up with demands. That's why gigabit speeds across various parts of the network are so enticing to IT managers.
In particular, true 10-gigabit-per-second performance is a goal for large enterprises with heavy network demands. The capability has been there for physical aspects of the network, ranging from switches and transceivers to cabling, but actually hitting 10-Gbit performance has been another matter, even with updated equipment and fiber-optic cabling.
That may be changing. Two startups, KeyEye Communications and Accelerant Networks, have recently developed transceivers that employ schemes they say can enable true 10-Gbit rates over existing copper CAT-6 cabling and backplanes. If that pans out, network managers will be able to boost their data throughout without having to rewire their installation with fiber-optic cabling or get new hub equipment. This might even be enticing to small to medium-sized businesses that find their data needs exploding, too.
Similarly, as Gigabit Ethernet becomes cheaper, companies are likely to move to the faster standard and then through to 10-Gigabit Ethernet, according to a Meta Group study. And Cisco is now touting a recent release of 10-Gbit switches aimed at enterprise customers who already have multimode fiber in their installations.
Bandwidth and speed needs may drive many a network manager to distraction, but so far technology is managing to keep up without forcing them to drain their networking budgets.