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Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet

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Introduction

Ethernet technology is not yesterday’s invention, far from it. In fact, the technology was in use as early as the seventies. Born in this period, the technology application has undergone evolution to meet the present requirements of high-speed data transmission. In its evolution, Gigabit Ethernet has developed into the most advanced technology standard for Local Area Networks at newer and higher levels. A sustained demand for faster application speeds has activated technology applications and evolution on data carrying techniques. Consequently, transmission standards for copper and fiber had to improve.

Background

The original idea of Ethernet came about in 1972 in a research center, in California. A bus-based architecture evolved through some major stages before it ended at the present state; 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The first transformation was from bus to star topologies. This was around 1990 and it was a huge step for Ethernet technology. The star topology was easier, and cheaper to implement. It was also better for the application to develop to the present level. The main reason was that it was attractive, and eliminated the reason to install the expensive coaxial cable.

In the next stage, Ethernet then evolved to Fast Ethernet in 1993. It extended the bandwidth that Ethernet had to a magnitude of 100 Mbps (Dax Associates, 1998). The next stage of evolution in the Ethernet life story was the introduction of switches in 1994. This was the next major milestone as concerns the Local Area Networks. It included evolving Ethernet technology from a shared environment to a dedicated shared environment, which significantly reduced the risk of domain collision to a single switch port. The network performance also increased by the provision of about 10 to a hundred Mbps at every switch port.

The purpose of switching was to eliminate any shared connections, and provide a full-dedicated bandwidth connection to the end station. Multilayered switching was the next level of Ethernet switches, and their purpose was to add the router functionality. More than one network protocol was to satisfy the users working with the popular network protocols. Both internet and intranet have driven IP switching technology. On this note, most companies have capitalized on the internet to support the remote users and advancing their business ventures. The multilayer switches are more extensive as compared to the layer 2 switches.

Alternatively, it is of no use to utilize them at all places that switching is required in a network. Layer 2 switches are less expensive as compared to the multilayer switches. Finally, Gigabit Ethernet was the final major evolution for Ethernet technology by extending the bandwidth by another order of magnitude at 1000 Mbps or 1.0 Gbps (Dax Associates, 1998). It has integrated routing functions placed in the Fast Ethernet switches in the previous periods. The practice of routing the switches would go far to make Gigabit Ethernet technology a marketing success, some of which has been realized.

Switching and Bandwidth

In essence, Gigabit Ethernet was the networking world’s solution to the increasing demands of bandwidth. The main issue was to satisfy the ever-increasing bandwidth consumer applications at a cost that was cheaper while complying with the Ethernet standards of the time. The use of the Ethernet infrastructure guaranteed provision of the migration without any changes to the existing network operating systems and applications. These are some reasons why the application is rapidly on the move. One of the Gigabit Ethernet technologies followed quickly behind fast Ethernet in 1995. After achieving some impetus in the field, it submerged itself in the Gigabit Ethernet industry and formed the Gigabit Ethernet alliance in 1996 (Dax Associates, 1998).

Gigabit Ethernet brings forth the Ethernet bandwidth by a magnitude that far exceeds that of fast Ethernet. It also provides a solution for bandwidth demands that are not satisfied by fast Ethernet or the FDDI. It also provides the opportunity of an upward migration path for those networks that will need more bandwidth in the future. The present look for Gigabit Ethernet is quite optimistic, it is a significant force in the world of enterprise networks, and the rate of deployment continues to rise steadily. The technology undergoes deployment within building risers, as well, as the backbones of campuses and server link to links.

It provided greater bandwidth for the transportation of data of the Ethernet architectures at a reduced cost and complexity of the standards. Most of the local area networks use a mixture of copper and fiber premises wiring. From these, companies use legacy fiber connectivity for backbone links with the use of copper wiring in place. The legacy backbones are sufficient so long as there are no demands at the time for greater performance of the network or the bandwidth. At the present, most companies are growing their networks and supporting their needs for traffic and, thus, are migrating to gigabit links (Harrington, 2007).

Apparently, Gigabit Ethernet is the next step in the ongoing evolution of Ethernet technology (Norris, 2003). The thing is that Gigabit Ethernet addressed the enterprise users, but the 10-gigabit enterprise addressed both the enterprise users and the service providers. Gigabit technology is advantageous in that it has the capacity to handle the massive explosion of data traffic, happening currently in today’s networks. Ethernet is currently the dominant networking technology both in LAN and in WAN environments, whereby it continues to provide the network technology of choice. It is able to provide high rates of reliability as concerns especially, scaling, management and trouble shooting.

Gigabit technology has taken the industry by storm. Most internet vendors have been developing and shipping a large number of gigabit switches and routing switches, as well as, network interface cards. Many of these products began their deliveries as early as 14 years ago in 1997 (Dax Associates, 1998). The networking vendors that currently exist in the market include 3com, Cisco systems, and Extreme Networks, as well as, Nortel Networks. The alliance of Gigabit Ethernet has promoted the technology within the industry. The Gigabit Ethernet technology affects network backbones and switches towards switch links.

The links pertain to areas where bandwidth is critical, and traffic of data may be heavy to handle. The industry technology in this way has layer 2 and later 3 switches for all of the applications. The Gigabit Ethernet switches for the backbone applications uplink from fast Ethernet, or from the gigabit switches or repeaters. The industry has hoped of producing routing switches for the IP and the IPX packets for their destinations. All of this switching and routing occurs at wire speed because it happens when it is in the form of silicon via the application of Specific Integrated Circuits (Harrington, 2007).

The current trend among the Gigabit Ethernet switching routers is to support both of the network and the transport layers. This is for increasing flexibility when routing the data. At least four of the vendors at the present, provide layer 4 routing on their switches. Routing gives the switches flexibility, which is essential to the Gigabit Ethernet market because it puts routing in the backbone where it becomes most effective. The Gigabit Ethernet industry initially introduced the full duplex (Norris, 2003). These are Ethernet repeaters to provide a low cost alternative for the switches, but they did not receive a lot of popularity because of the falling prices of Gigabit Ethernet switch pricing.

The Introduction of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Technology

Gigabit Ethernet technology has been shipping for three years now and is widely distributed across the globe. The industry did not expect the rate of success with which the industry accepted the application. Gigabit Ethernet was once an option of installation. Now it is the backbone of most local area networks. It is also the server link, technology application in the market of choice for the Ethernet types of local area networks. In the next generation, the application to the desktop will surface as one of the desktop applications (Harrington, 2007).

The intention is for intensive video and graphics utilization. The Gigabit Ethernet switches continue to enable the ease of the migration from Ethernet and fast Ethernet to the Gigabit Ethernet. The move has considerably reduced the expense since using the first versions from the time the first switches were introduced. The need for gigabit performance is fast reaching the 10-gigabit level. On the other hand, why is there a sudden need for ten times a gigabit performance?

In the past, this neither was a necessary requirement, nor was it wise, taking into account the expenses involved in the purchase (Hewlett Packard, 2006). However, the thing with technology is that supporting equipment eventually goes through breakthroughs and the dynamics of cost and effectiveness eventually change. The technological advancements must have resulted in performance at a higher level, but at a lower cost. As a result, gigabit and the 10 GbE has become quite affordable by most of the companies. Even if, cost was not in the picture, there is a need for many applications in the market.

All these applications require a considerable amount of bandwidth in order to support the transfer, as well as, the streaming of large data of video or audio type. The need for bandwidth intensive applications also rises with the need to support and transport them. Additionally, many companies in the business are looking to the future to improve their network to ensure they can support the emerging technologies and make sure they can preserve the initial investments. In the past, the systems for fiber and cable went through the installation with a 10-year lifespan in mind. However, there is a quick and continuing development of network technologies.

At this rate, the companies should be worried with the current ability of the infrastructure to keep pace. The costs that accompany re-cabling of a network may be exorbitant; thus, organizations should take many precautions before installation of any cabling system to make sure that it will last well into the future. The 10 GbE is the best option in that it secures assurance for support of forthcoming technologies. It also delivers the utmost of investment protection in the market. The cabling technologies have also followed the trend of evolution that the gigabit and the 10 GbE technologies did.

Additionally, as the companies continue to grow their, networks and support the bandwidth intensive type of applications, as well as, the traffic types, 10 GbE technologies are becoming more and more pervasive (Hewlett Packard, 2003). The advantage in this case is that 10 GbE technologies can perform performance benefits thereby providing benefits for investment of a company well into the future of a franchise. Ethernet has been part of the increasing demands of packet-based networks. The implementation costs, simplicity when it comes to maintenance, as well as the reliability of the Ethernet connection, have made it infinitely popular.

Nearly all of the traffic on the internet originates, involves, or terminates with an Ethernet connection. At the same time, the demand for increasingly faster networks in order to improve the speed of download and access to the application had greatly appreciated. Ethernet has been able to handle the demands set at present and the potentially crippling weight of the volume demand of the information tasks in mass. The ten-Gigabit Ethernet, however, will only work with an optical fiber and only operates in the full duplex mode. Ethernet in this way can now progress too about gigabits for every second while still having some of Ethernet properties such as the packet format.

Ethernet technology remains the widely applied technology when the clients demand fast and high performance on Local Area Networks (Intel Corporation, 2003). The ubiquity of the applications technology keeps the cost down and with every installation of advanced generation. Ethernet puts the cost of deployment in a similar position. The current networks today is experience a steady increase, in the traffic, which is then prompting network managers to look for a solution for their increased bandwidth demands. 10-Gigabit Ethernet is ten times better performing as Gigabit Ethernet.

The impending addition of this new technology to the Ethernet franchise will take local area networks to even improved goals. Additionally, the bandwidth hungry applications will now have all the time they need with the way things became simple. 10-Gigabit Ethernet technology fills out a number of criteria for effective and high-speed performances this makes it the natural option on the table for extending and upgrading the Ethernet networks. The first is that Ethernet uses protocols and management tools already deployed within the management infrastructure; thus, it draws upon the same tools and common base for skills. The flexibility of the network design for the server is also a factor.

The 10-Gigabit Ethernet Standard

The existing Ethernet structure that a customer processes easily integrates with the 10-Gigabit Ethernet (Intel Corporation, 2003). The new technology would lower costs for ownership and support systems as compared to comparable technologies. 10-Gigabit Ethernet would enter the market and vendors getting ready to unleash 10-Gigabit Ethernet network devices would represent the turn of the next step in the market. At this rate, backbones, multi-gigabit networks, and server connections would range up to 10 Gbps, whereby voice and data networks converging over the real Ethernet become quite a viable option. Some technologies like TCP have the ability to incorporate enhanced services like packetized voice and video, while the Ethernet that lies underneath would be able to carry out the services without a lot of modification.

Ten-Gigabit Ethernet standards not only improve the speed of the internet to 10 Gbps, they also extend the interconnectivity and the operating distance at hand to around forty kilometers. It also supports both single and multimode fiber mediums, thereby increasing the range of a single mode fiber from five to forty kilometers. This was a feature experienced by the predecessor technology Gigabit Ethernet itself. There is an advantage with setting the new distance. Companies that have their local area network have an option of extending the location for their data center to the most cost effective area within the range of 40 kilometers.

The previous versions of Ethernet have shown it is possible for the cost of 10 Gbps, to be significantly lower than earlier anticipated. When comparing with the 10 Gbps telecommunication lasers, the 10-Gigabit Ethernet technology is capable of using even lower costs and optics (Intel Corporation, 2003). It is clear the value of the Ethernet is expensive according to the opinions of vendors and users.

Additionally, it is also widely deployed and highly understood, as well as being compatible with the current local area networks. At present, a packet can leave a server on a short haul optic Gigabit Ethernet port and move cross-country finding its way down a PC with a gigabit copper port all without the process of reframing and protocol conversion. Meaning that Ethernet is everywhere and 10-Gigabit Ethernet maintains the functionality of conversion. Ethernet technology is already some of the most deployed technology, and it is the most used for local area networks, especially high performance sectors.

The 10-Gigabit Ethernet technology allows the companies involved setting up their local area network environments, which allows them to support many campus locations within the boundaries of the 40-kilometer radius (Intel Corporation, 2003). Gigabit technology is already in use as a backbone technology especially when it comes to the metropolitan’s dark fiber networks. The appropriate assembly of 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and equipment can build a link that encircles a metropolitan center with a citywide network. The technology applications now enables cost effective and high speed infrastructure, which prior to the introduction to the wonder software, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, some thought did not have the sufficient storage and effectiveness.

Ethernet now has the sufficient horsepower to get the work done eventually. It is the most efficient technology by its standards, and more so because of its open-endedness. In short, Ethernet has withstood the test of time becoming one of the most widely accepted networking technologies in the world (Intel Corporation, 2003). The increasing dependencies on networks and the number of increasing bandwidth intensive applications, the providers may seek higher capacity networking solutions that reduce the overall cost of the network connectivity and this makes it possible for service differentiation, while having a few high levels of reliability. Overall, it seems that 10-Gigabit Ethernet standards provide a strong solution to some of the network challenges.

Conclusion

10-Gigabit Ethernet is the natural form of evolution when talking about the establishment of speed and distance. This comes, in addition to the increase in, line speed when talking about enterprise networks. Ethernet has proven value of economics to metropolitan networks and wide area networks are evident in the provision of potentially the lowest cost of ownership. The straightforward migration to other performance levels is also a factor. The Ethernet optimized structure of things is taking place in the metropolitan area and many other city areas that are currently the focus of intense network development to deliver Ethernet services (Intel Corporation, 2003).

10 Gigabit Ethernet is on a present road map that router, switch and metropolitan vendors. Objective in this case would be to allow among other things, cost effective gigabit connections between the customer gear and service provider POP in native Ethernet settings. At present, many enterprises are deploying 10-gigabit backbones as segments that support bandwidth intensive technologies such as video production. The 10-gigabit application increases the bandwidth and increases the data throughput; thus, it provides greater performance in essence than existing network topologies (WildPackets, 2011). Due to the fast and high bandwidth nature, when problems start to occur the high rate of data may make them hard to diagnose the problem.

In this way, problems and outage can result from performance can result and take longer than usual to resolve. Many traffic and business operations that depend on the solution to these everyday problems will be the first to suffer. Overall, Ethernet in general is not going anywhere soon. It has undergone enough evolution, and changes to the overall structure to set the point that it keeps reinventing itself and that is the important aspect in the field of technology applications.

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