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10G ETHERNET: Impact On LAN/MAN/WAN

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DQC Bureau
New Update

The new 10G Ethernet preserves the current Ethernet semantics, including

minimum and maximum frame size, and frame format. The 802.3ae specification

defines two sets of physical interfaces for 10G Ethernet called the LAN and WAN

physical interfaces. Thus it offers scalable, efficient and unified network

architecture for enterprises and service providers

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IEEE has ratified 10 Gigabit Ethernet in 2002 and offers a 10 fold

performance increase over its predecessor 1 Gigabit Ethernet. More importantly,

price points have shown a dramatic decline from $40,000 per port to now less

than $2,500 per port.

The 10G Ethernet preserves the current Ethernet semantics, including minimum

and maximum frame size, and frame format. The 802.3ae specification defines two

sets of physical interfaces for 10G Ethernet called the LAN and WAN physical

interfaces. Some of the most important LAN physical interfaces are:

10Gbase-SR: 850 nm serial interface with a range of 300 meters

over multimode fiber



10Gbase-LR:
1,310 nm serial interface with a range of 10 kilometers over

single-mode fiber



10Gbase-ER:
1,550 nm serial interface with a range of 40 kilometers over

single-mode fiber



10Gbase-CX4:
A copper-based interface with a range of 15 meters

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WAN PHY INTERFACES



The 802.3ae specification also includes a WAN PHY definition that operates

at a data rate compatible with a payload of OC-192c SONET/SDH. The WAN PHY

allows transport of Ethernet data using SONET/SDH infrastructure for Layer 1

transport, while preserving the Ethernet format at Layer 2 eliminating any

protocol conversions associated in traditional Packet over SONET/SDH (PoS). The

WAN PHY interfaces also provide the same distance ranges as the LAN interfaces.

All the existing Ethernet standards, such as 802.1q for virtual LANs, 802.1p

for traffic prioritization and 802.3ad for link aggregation, also apply to 10G

Ethernet. This makes the deployment of 10G Ethernet simply a plug-and-play

situation for most corporations and service providers with Ethernet networks.

10G ETHERNET APPLICATIONS



In LANs, where Ethernet is dominant, the most immediate application for 10G

Ethernet is in the LAN backbone. With processor speeds now reaching 3 GHz and

beyond, coupled with the rapid price decline in Gigabit Ethernet network

interface cards, which are now in the $100 range, most servers come standard

with Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards.

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10G

Ethernet provides a scalable uplink from the data center switches that connect

server farms with Gigabit Ethernet copper interfaces. Certain select enterprise

verticals such as entertainment and animation are deploying Gigabit Copper to

each desktop to foster faster productivity and collaboration between artists.

WAN APPLICATIONS



For WAN applications, the 10G Ethernet WAN PHY lets service providers use

existing SONET infrastructure, such as add/drop multiplexers and repeaters,

protecting their current investment in SONET/SDH gear. Recently, leading

research institutions created the world's longest native Ethernet connection

by using 10G Ethernet WAN PHY from Japanese Data Reservoir project to the CERN

research center in Geneva, Switzerland, spanning approximately 18,500

kilometers, and 17 time zones. Using the 10G WAN PHY technology, a local area

network connecting computers at the University of Tokyo was extended to include

computers at CERN in Geneva so that they all appeared to be on the same LAN.

Coupled with the momentum in 1 Gigabit Ethernet over copper market, 10G

Ethernet is strengthening the wave of technology migration in the industry

offering scalable, efficient and unified network architecture for enterprises

and service providers.

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IMPLEMENTATIONS OF 10G ETHERNET



University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI)

is among the first in the world to deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the LAN

backbone. Scaling to 10 Gbps speeds in the backbone allowed USC-ISI to offer

their research scientists a high-performance networking computing infrastructure

for grid computing. Grid computing is a rapidly growing concept where by

thousands of low cost computers connected over a high speed network provide

massive computing power at outstanding price/performance.

Crest Animation Studios is at the forefront in India to utilize 10 Gigabit

Ethernet for animation production applications. Crest utilizes 10 Gigabit

Ethernet to interconnect two buildings together and allows the artists to store

and retrieve massive amounts of image data from storage. The 10G Ethernet

network also cuts down the time it takes for artists to transfer images to

render servers allowing more time for production of quality images while meeting

production schedule deadlines.

In Metropolitan Area Networks or MANs, many service providers take advantage

of the price/ performance and simplicity of Ethernet to provide cost-effective,

scalable broadband Ethernet services. New industry organizations such as Metro

Ethernet Forum (MEF) coordinate the efforts between vendors and service

providers to enable mass rollout of Ethernet services to business and

residential customers. Examples of Ethernet services to businesses include eLine

or Point-to-Point VPN service and eLAN or multipoint-to-multipoint VPN service

that offer a low-cost, simple and high-speed alternative to existing ATM or

Frame Relay services. The 10Gbase-LR and 10Gbase-ER interfaces are

cost-effective 10G bit/sec options for building ring or mesh topologies in MANs.

Enersource Telecom in Canada is a metro service provider that harnesses the

power of Ethernet technology into providing high-speed bandwidth connections to

businesses and universities at a very attractive price. Enersource uses 10

Gigabit Ethernet and 1 Gigabit Ethernet in a Metro Ethernet network and offers

100 Mbps to 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit connections to their customers at

attractive prices.

Chandra Kopparapu is

VP, Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Foundry Networks

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