From its origin more than
25 years ago, Ethernet has evolved to meet the increasing demands of packet-switched
networks. Due to its proven low implementation cost, its known reliability, and
relative simplicity of installation and maintenance, its popularity has grown
to the point that today nearly all traffic on the Internet originates or ends
with an Ethernet connection. Further, as the demand for ever-faster network speeds
has grown, Ethernet has been adapted to handle these higher speeds and the concomitant
surges in volume demand that accompany them.
The One Gigabit Ethernet standard is already being deployed in large numbers in
both corporate and public data networks, and has begun to move Ethernet from the
realm of the local area network out to encompass the metro area network. Meanwhile,
an even faster 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard is nearing completion. This latest
standard is being driven not only by the increase in normal data traffic but also
by the proliferation of new, bandwidth-intensive applications.
The draft standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet is significantly different in some
respects from earlier Ethernet standards, primarily in that it will only function
over optical fiber, and only operate in full-duplex mode, meaning that collision
detection protocols are unnecessary. Ethernet can now step up to 10 gigabits per
second, however, it remains Ethernet, including the packet format, and the current
capabilities are easily transferable to the new draft standard.
In addition, 10 Gigabit Ethernet does not obsolete current investments in network
infrastructure. The task force heading the standards effort has taken steps to
ensure that 10 Gigabit Ethernet is interoperable with other networking technologies
such as SONET. The standard enables Ethernet packets to travel across SONET links
with very little inefficiency.
expansion for use in metro area networks can now be expanded yet again onto wide
area networks, both in concert with SONET and also end-to-end Ethernet. With the
current balance of network traffic today heavily favoring packet-switched data
over voice, it is expected that the new 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard will help
to create a convergence between networks designed primarily for voice, and the
new data centric networks.
10 Gigabit Ethernet Technology Overview
The 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance (10GEA) was established in order to promote standards-based
10 Gigabit Ethernet technology and to encourage the use and implementation of
10 Gigabit Ethernet as a key networking technology for connecting various computing,
data and telecommunications devices. The charter of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance
" Supporting the 10 Gigabit
Ethernet standards effort conducted in the IEEE 802.3 working group
Contributing resources to facilitate convergence and consensus on technical specifications
Promoting industry awareness, acceptance, and advancement of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet
" Accelerating the adoption and
usage of 10 Gigabit Ethernet products and services
Providing resources to establish and demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability
and generally encourage and promote interoperability and interoperability events
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