Indian Cos Eye 10 Gigabit Ethernet Speed Barrier

by Hinesh Jethwani    Mar 18, 2004

IEEE’s approval of a copper cable interface standard for 10 Gb/s Ethernet has opened up a new avenue for the network appliance market, with many CXO’s excited at the prospect of pushing the bandwidth speed barrier.

Before the approval of this standard, 1 Gb/s was the fastest available Ethernet rate over copper cabling. The new standard, IEEE 802.3ak-2004, provides an economical way for Ethernet switches and server clusters located within 15 m of each other in equipment rooms and data centers to be interconnected at 10 Gb/s.

Speaking to CXOtoday, S V Ramana, vice president - systems engineering, Cisco Systems India & SAARC, said, “10GigE market is currently localized to high bandwidth, extremely low latency, and demanding application scenarios such as Seismic Data Processing and research application environments. It is also being evaluated in large campuses with high data transfer backbone connectivity, where situations demand high availability and full redundancy.

“The 10GigE option is being understood in such application environments and we see a rapid increasing awareness and engagement in India,” added Ramana.

Regarding sales figures, Ramana cited the Dell Oro Q4CY03 report, which indicates that 10GigE switch port sales are increasing at 288% Q4-o-Q3, with Cisco holding 77.6% of the port share with a 734.5% Q4-o-Q3 growth.

The report also indicates that 10GigE switch revenue is increasing at 59% Q4-o-Q3, with Cisco holding 54.3% of the marketshare with a 115.7% Q4-o-Q3 growth. Cisco is anticipating early adopters of the technology in India soon. However, as Ramana explained, “It wont be a mass adoption, but rather a need based segmented one.”

Describing his views on the subject, Vijay Yadav, country manager, 3 Com India, said, “I would say that 10GigE technology is still in an evaluation stage. Development of transmission standards over both fiber and copper would play an extremely vital role in its popularity, and the need for higher bandwidth will increase consumer demand. Our 10GigE ready offering, switch 7700, starts at a list price of $25,000 and has already been installed by quite a few customers here.”

According to Anand Mehta, marketing manager, D-Link India Ltd., “Our view of the Indian 10GigE market, would be primarily service providers or large enterprises, that deploy applications where a very large no of users / packets need to be aggregated and directed at a central distribution location.”

On the sales front, Mehta added, “Our 10GigE initiative is driven purely through the D-Link-Foundry Co-Brand solution. We have recently seen a mini spurt in activity on this front, and have not just closed a few deals but are actively participating in quite a few others. A point to note here would be that although there would be a central high value 10GigE Aggregation switch, there are also a lot more 1G switches in the Aggregation ring and 10/100 switches on the Access Layer.”

Cable manufacturer Krone Communications recently produced a cable concept that would allow the 21 Gigabit/s ’Shannon capacity’ necessary for 10 Gigabit/s Ethernet, and had the test results independently corroborated by one of the active equipment vendors involved in the 10 Gigabit/s Ethernet standards body.

Mehta concluded, “We find most SCS Fiber Installations going in for the Special OM3 10G Ready Long Distance Fiber. However, 10Base-CX4 Copper applications are yet to be seen here. I am sure that military applications using clusters at 10G will drive the Supercomputer race very soon in India.”

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