A 100G Ethernet Pipe Dream

Michael Vizard

This may seem like your typical network pipedream, but it seems that 100 Gigabit Ethernet networks in the enterprise might not be all that far off.

Sure, most IT organizations are just now wrapping their minds around 10G Ethernet, and the next logical level after that is supposed to be 40G Ethernet. But this week at the Supercomputing 2010 conference, Juniper Networks was demonstrating a 100G T4000 Core Router.

Now we're still a ways away from seeing something like this in production. But with the rise of cloud computing, you can't help but wonder if the migration to 100G Ethernet networks is going to happen a lot faster than most people realize.

Luc Ceuppens, vice president of product marketing for Juniper Networks, says we'll definitely see a faster migration to 100G Ethernet simply because in the not too distant future the price differential between 40G and 100G Ethernet isn't going to be all that great. And with all that traffic flowing across the network from 10G Ethernet devices at the edge of the network, deploying 100G Ethernet at the core might be the prudent thing to do.

Ceuppens says big Web 2.0 players such as Facebook are already looking for 100G Ethernet for the core of their networks. And chances are that big public cloud computing providers are right behind them.

It may be a while before the rest of the IT community starts deploying 100G Ethernet. But in some shape or form, just about everybody is going to be at least impacted by a 100G Ethernet network sooner than they think.

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