Apex 10GBase-T Solutions

Cisco's Newest Servers Drive Explosion of 10GBase-T

The IEEE fully adopted the 10GBase-T standard in early 2006, but market adoption of the standard was slow to come. This was mostly due to power dissipation worries with the first generation of PHY chips which dissipated 25 Watts per port. Second generation chips were a little better, dissipating 10 Watts. The newest generation of chips has dropped power dissipation to 4 Watts per port, and the next generation promises even lower consumption, at 2.5 Watts.

Enter Intel's Romley and Sandy Bridge Platforms

Quarter Two of this year saw the number of shipped 10GBase-T ports increase 20% over Quarter One and 50% over the same time period of last year. This increase includes both server adapter ports as well as LAN on Motherboard (LOM) ports. These increases exceed ALL cumulative shipments of 10GBase-T up to this point.

Intel's integrated X540 product was a prime mover in this increase in shipped ports. Broadcom also played a big part with its BCM578x0 series. According to Seamus Crehan, principle at Crehan Research, the physical layer interface (PHY) chips are the major driving force behind this tremendous growth with both Aquantia and Broadcom being major contributors.

Cisco's third generation fabric computing platform supports Intel's ‘Romley' and ‘Sandy Bridge' Xeon E5-2600 processor lineup. It has up to eight times the memory capacity, includes multiple form factors, and also has four times the I/O of the previous servers in the UCS line.

This generation of Cisco servers includes two rack-mount models and one blade server, which are all based upon the Xeon E5-2600 processor. Cisco's UCS B200 M3 Blade Servers has up to 80 gigabits of I/O bandwidth, supports up to 24 DIMM slots, and is a half-blade form factor.

The UCS C220 M3 Rack Server is a 1RU (one rack) unit that is targeted at business workloads such as Web services to distributed databases. The UCS C240 is a 2RU server designed for big data to collaboration, storage-intensive workloads.