The Intel PRO/10GbE SR Server Adapter is available now for $4,770. The "SR" prefix means that the adapter is designed for short-range distances of less than 300 meters; Intel will launch a long-range version later this summer allowing devices to talk to each other across a range of as many as 10 kilometers.
As desktop PCs slowly adopt Gigabit Ethernet connections, data centers are undergoing their own conversion to 10-Gbit Ethernet, keeping data flowing smoothly through the back office.
When Java applets trigger on a client PC, for example, they can trigger a number of different processes on a server, in addition to the Internet traffic running back and forth between the server and the client PC.
According to Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager of the networking and storage group at Intel, that conversion from Gigabit Ethernet to 10-Gbit connections will reach a crossover point next year.
For his part, Geyer said he communicates each month with his employees in a virtual open forum, with video links connecting him with employees.
Intel has also designed the server adapter to work within the space constraints of standard server slots as well as to use the multimode fiber connections prevalent among data centers. Intels new server adapter includes an optical transceiver the company calls "XPAK," which helps reduce cost.
"What has been missing on server is a multimode fiber connection between servers," Geyer said. "Fiber has been in data centers for quite a while already, but you have to be able to get multiple connections onto fiber. Multimode fiber allows that."
Intel has also worked with Cisco Systems Inc. to ensure that the new 10GbE adapters interoperate with Ciscos line of Catalyst intelligent switches, including 10-Gbit models.