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Contributing Writer

100Gb Ethernet, and Beyond

Aug 12, 20092 mins
Cisco SystemsData and Information SecurityData Center

Ramifications of the all-100Gb Ethernet network.

In case you haven’t seen the story, Berkeley lab is getting $62 million in order to build the world’s fastest all-100Gb Ethernet network to connect Department of Energy on the Energy Sciences Network (ESNet).I’m just speculating and could be wrong, but here are a few implications I see coming out of this development.1. 10Gb Ethernet becomes a stepping stone technology. There is massive investment and growth in 10Gb Ethernet switching equipment but this gear may be replaced quickly in the next few years with higher capacity stuff. Smart CIOs will make sure to work with vendors who offer seamless upgrade paths for 10Gb equipment.2. 40Gb Ethernet may be a road to nowhere. I have a hunch that we may simply skip 40Gb and move directly to 100Gb. Vendors and network engineers should follow R&D activities and plan accordingly.3. More pressure on other network transports. Common wisdom suggests that Ethernet will ultimately replace Fibre Channel and Infiniband. I have to believe that 100GbE adds fuel to this fire.4. Niche opportunities at the high end of the market. Somehow we will still have to filter and process 100GbE traffic. Smart network processor designers, network security vendors, and application networking innovators will get out in front of this trend.5. More pressure on Cisco. Cisco’s market dominance is always threatened by technology transitions. A shift to 100GbE opens the door again for innovative challengers like Brocade, Extreme Networks, and Juniper Networks. Yeah, I know it is really really early in the game but it is fun to think about future ramifications. Heck, that’s what I do for a living.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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