Lots of 10 Gbe at Interop

Arthur Cole

You must have known we weren't going to get through Interop this year without a flood of 10 GbE equipment to ponder. From chip-level developments to fully functional switches and fabrics, there's now a likely 10 GbE solution for just about any networking situation you face.


One new system that caught our eye is the EFX 1000 from Woven Systems. Based on the company's vScale system, the device is said to offer a full 10 GbE fabric at only a fraction of the cost of rival systems. The claim to fame here is something the company calls Active Congestion Management, a load-balancing system that maintains low latency by re-routing traffic without dropping or re-ordering packets.


Optical system manufacturer Avago Technologies has a new family of 10 GbE LRM (long-reach multimode) transceivers, the product of the company's involvement in the IEEE committee that defined the LRM standard. The line features electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) to support links up to 220 meters on OM1, OM2 and OM3 multimode fiber.


A number of industry partnerships are also in the works. Fujitsu, for one, has been busy supplying its new 20-port chip, the MB8AA3020, to a number of vendors showing backplane, blade and datacenter solutions. Gennum Corp., for instance, showed how it can boost linecard density by using it to connect the company's CDR ICs to optical modules without additional circuitry. Meanwhile, Teak Technologies displayed it in the congestion-free I3000 module for the IBM BladeCenter. CorEdge Networks showed the chip in its CEN-FAB module, while Teranetics used it for the TN1010 PHY.


Storage solutions are also turning to 10 GbE. AMCC showed off a new iSCSI SAN using Neterion's Xframe II 10 GbE adapters. The demo had a RAID-6 video stream running from a Dell Xeon server, through the Xframe II outfitted with AMCC's QT2035 IC, into a Fulcrum switch and ultimately to a PowerPC with a Katamai storage reference platform.


Of course, the beauty of 10 GbE is not that it provides a robust platform for enterprise networking, but is also suitable in carrier-grade networks as a cost-effective upgrade to ATM and SONET networks. With that in mind, it's hard to imagine that we've even begun to scratch the 10 GbE surface.

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