Diggin' technology every day

May 11, 2012

More 10GbaseT Coming..

Filed under: Networking — Tags: , — Nate @ 2:38 pm

I wrote a couple of times about the return of 10GbaseT, a standard that tried to come out a few years ago but for various reasons didn’t quite make it. I just noticed that two new 10GbaseT switching products were officially announced a few days ago at Interop Las Vegas. They are, of course from Extreme, and they are, of course not shipping yet (and knowing Extreme’s recent history with product announcements it may be a while before they do actually ship – though they say for the 1U switch by end of year).

The new products are

  • 48 port 10Gbase-T module for the Black Diamond X-series – for up to 384 x 10GbaseT ports in a 14U chassis – note this is of course half the density you can achieve using the 40GbE modules and break out cables, there’s only so many plugs you can put in 14U!
  • Summit X670V-48t (I assume that’s what it’ll be called) – a 48-port 10GbaseT switch with 40GbE uplinks (similar to the Arista 7100 – the only 48-port 10GbaseT switch I’m personally aware of – just with faster uplinks and I’m sure there will be stacking support for those that like to stack)

From this article it’s claimed a list price of about $25k for the 1U switch which is a good price – about the same price as the existing 24-port X650 10GbaseT product. Also in line with the current generation X670V-48x which is a 48-port SFP+ product, so little to no premium for the copper which is nice to see! (note there is a lower cost X670 (non “V”) that does not have 40GbE ability available for about half the cost of the “V” model)

Much of the hype seems to be around the new Intel 10Gbase-T controller that is coming out with the latest CPUs from them.

With the Intel Ethernet Controller X540, Intel is delivering on its commitment to drive down the costs of 10GbE. We’ve ditched two-chip 10GBASE-T designs of the past in favor of integrating the media access controller (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) controller into a single chip. The result is a dual-port 10GBASE-T controller that’s not only cost-effective, but also energy-efficient and small enough to be included on mainstream server motherboards. Several server OEMs are already lined up to offer Intel Ethernet Controller X540-based LOM connections for their Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family-based servers.

With Broadcom also having recently announced (and shipping too perhaps?) their own next generation 10GbaseT chips, built for LOM (among other things), which apparently can push power utilization down to under 2W per port, using a 10 meter mode (perhaps?), 10m is plenty long enough for most connections of course! Given that Broadcom also has a quad port version of this chipset, could they be the ones powering the newest boxes from Oracle ?

Will Broadcom be able to keep their strong hold on the LOM market (really can’t remember the last time I came across Intel NICs on motherboards outside of maybe Supermicro or something)?

So the question remains – when will the rest of the network industry jump on board – after having been burned somewhat in the past by the first iterations of 10GbaseT.

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