I read the news last week and oh boy, structured cabling vendor Systimax has got the contract to install 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) into the famous Abbey Road studios. I suppose Abbey Road's servers will be subject to 'A Hard Day's Night' processing 10 gig data streams 'Eight Days A Week' (that's enough Beatles references - Ed). Could it mean a revolution in digital music processing? Well maybe, however I've got a feeling that 10GbE copper kit ratified to the IEEE's 802.3an standard, has still to undergo full interoperability testing between different vendors switches, structured cabling and their storage and server adaptors.
The Abbey Road announcement ties in with some interop testing between Systimax and 10GbE kit vendor Solarflare Communications, who've been demoing cabling and server adaptors working together. Network acceleration vendor Chelsio has also recently announced new 10GbE storage and server adaptors and IP performance test vendor Ixia has also been using its Optixia test system to validate 10GbE hardware performance.
So, the long and winding road to 10GbE over copper rollouts, through standard connectors, has moved that bit closer. Although when I spoke to Force10 Networks Steve Garrison last year, he pointed out that one problem was how much power each port in the new 10GbE switches was using.
Anyway, as with all leading edge technologies, there's sure to be a price premium and the new switches and adaptors needed to support 10GbE initially won't be cheap. As for 10GbE to the desktop, I suspect we'll need new hard disk technology to capitalise on the data throughput this technology will bring, unless you're connected to a decent storage area network.
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