10 Gigabit Ethernet Standard Ratified

Although networking vendors have already begun deploying 10 Gigabit Ethernet in their products, the ratification paves the way for broader adoption of the networking technology.

The 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard, after three years of work, has become official and is helping to pave the way for broader adoption of the networking technology.

The IEEE Standards Association Standards Board last week ratified the IEEE 802.3ae specification for 10 Gigabit Ethernet during a meeting in Piscataway, N.J., announced the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance on Monday. The specification lays out the standard ways of running traffic at 10-Gpbs over Ethernet and extending the capabilities to WANs.

"Enterprises can now confidently deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet in their corporate backbones, data centers and server farms to support mission-critical applications," said Bruce Tolley, vice president of the alliance and senior product line manager of emerging technologies at Cisco Systems Inc., in a statement.

The approval of the standard also should help service providers in their delivery of metro Ethernet services over SONET/SDH, dark fiber and DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexer), Tolley said.

Networking vendors had already begun deploying 10 Gigabit Ethernet in their products before it became an official IEEE standard. At both NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas in May and Supercomm in Atlanta earlier this month, the alliance and its vendor members held interoperability demonstrations of 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Extreme Networks Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., for instance, in April announced a 10 Gigabit Ethernet module to its BlackDiamond chassis switch. Enterprises with the highest bandwidth requirements have begun using that to carry traffic in the core of their WANs, said John Erlandson, a director of product management.

Next up will be pushing 10 Gigabit Ethernet support into Extreme Networks Alpine switches, which are used more for aggregation of links and some core switching, he said. Demand right now from customers for the support isnt high, but Erlandson expects that to change quickly. He declined to specify a time frame when the 10 Gigabit Ethernet support will reach Alpine.

"The transition to 10 GigE is not only logical but something customers expect," he said. "Youre getting more and more Gigabit Ethernet downstream to the end user, desktop device or the server and we knew that would drive the demand for 10 GigE."

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