GbE: If Not Now, When?

Arthur Cole

So where exactly is Gigabit Ethernet going, and when should be a good time to jump in?


Even though the rush is on to get 10 GbE gear on the market, much of the enterprise community is still working its way up to 1 GbE. The latest new device is Allied Telesis' new 10 GbE switching port, the AT-10408XP, designed as a small form-factor standalone device for Layer 3 switching.


And while top-tier enterprises generally don't have much trouble jumping right up to Layer 3, David Baily in IT Week reports that there are plenty of small- and mid-sized firms in the UK still fighting tooth and nail against the inevitable need to upgrade their cabling. We suspect that there's a fair amount of that going on across the pond, too.


And even the IEEE seems confused about what to do. At one time, 40 GbE was considered the coolest of the cool. Now there's a movement to skip it altogether and go straight to 100.


Baily makes some good points in his latest blog: that GB still has its warts, but it's really the only option if you want to consolidate services. And if your throughput is already looking for 50 Mbps and the old 10/100 is looking at death's door, you're probably best off biting the bullet and jumping straight to 10 GbE.

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