Industry Analysts See Broad Adoption for 10GBase-T Ahead
The 10GBase-T standard was presented to the IEEE working committees for the first time almost ten years ago, as a fiber standard. In the following years, a number of other standards relating to 10GBase-T have seen the light of day. However, the standard that appears to be ready to experience widespread industry adoption by the end of 2012 is the 802.3an 10GBase-T Ethernet (Balanced copper twisted-pair) standard. This is because most of the major hurdles that the standard faced when it was first adopted by the IEEE in 2006 have been addressed and corrected.
Industry Giants Say Adoption Barriers Overcome
Industry giants Cisco (hardware), Intel (firmware/software), and Commscope (cabling) have co-authored a white paper that tells readers that most economic and technical problems that clocked widespread early adoption of the GBase-T Ethernet standard have been overcome.
One of the main problems that most IT and budget professionals had with early implementations of the standard was power consumption/dissipation. Early PHY technology dissipated as much as 25 Watts per port. In equipment that is currently available, new silkscreen and lithography techniques for designing the PHY chips dropped power consumption requirements to four Watts per port, and very recent developments will drop that to 2.5 Watts by early 2013.
Data center managers have options when it comes to adopting 10GBase-T and increasing the overall data throughput capability of their network: The cost benefits of sticking with copper are readily apparent. By now, most data centers have Cat6/Cat6a cabling, and these are capable of handling 10GBase-T signals.
Early on, many people were talking about problems with latency as a big reason that they weren't adopting. According to the white paper, as well as most other reports, this issue with latency has been dealt with and corrected.
Hidden and Unhidden Cost Savings
There are also a number of cost benefits to 10GBase-T Ethernet copper standard adoption versus fiber. First and foremost, you can utilize existing CAT5/CAT6 wiring. Second, the 10GBase-T standard is fully backward compatible, which means you can do the upgrade incrementally. And, you'll still get the benefits of Wake-On-LAN and Low Power Idle Mode.