Network architecture providers are taking a fresh look at what many consider to be the true backbone of the enterprise: the cabling.
At the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany, this week, Intel unveiled the Connects Cables family, which the company pitches as lighter and smaller than typical copper, but capable of delivering 10 GbE or InfiniBand up to 20 Gbps, up to 100 meters, a benchmark verified by test and measurement firm Tektronix. The cable utilizes four serial data lanes at 5 Gbps each.
Even better than lighter cable is a network that uses less of it. Sun Microsystems says that's the goal of the Magnum Switch. With support for 3,456 nodes, switch entities are consolidated 300 percent, resulting in a six-fold decrease in cabling. Each connector on the Magnum Switch offers triple the density of an InfiniBand 4x connector. Sun is working on its own line of lightweight cabling as well.
With many enterprises looking at the prospect of recabling for InfiniBand or GbE throughput, newer cabling technologies might make the job a little easier.