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Ethernet Extender - 100 Gigabit Ethernet to Outsell OC-768 by 2012
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January 05, 2009

100 Gigabit Ethernet to Outsell OC-768 by 2012

By Tim Gray
TMCnet Web Editor

As the release of the 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard approaches, research labs, derivative traders and universities are gearing up for the 2010 IEEE (News - Alert) standardization deadline.

In 2006, the IEEE study group agreed to target 2010 as the date to establish 100 Gbit/s Ethernet as the next version of the technology. Currently, 0 Gigabit Ethernet, or 40GbE, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, or 100GbE, are Ethernet standards presently under early development by the IEEE.
However, according to a new study, the technology will outship OC-768 in just two years because OC-768 (Optical Carrier) will stick around in part due to ILECs and PTTs that will continue to need Packet-over-SONET/SDH router ports to aggregate lower rate OC-n, STM, and T3/E3 circuits.
The study for Freesky Research titled “40 and 100 Gigabit Networks: Technologies, Markets, Applications” says telecom carriers will continue be an important part of this market, but they will take a lot of direction from their large corporate customers.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about 40 and 100 Gigabit is that it will be dominated by telecom carriers," said David Gross, author of the report. “Over 70 percent of all 40/100 Gigabit data revenue through 2013 will come from corporations, governments, and research labs, not telcos. Therefore, it won't take long for 100 Gigabit Ethernet to roll past OC-768.”
At the same time OC-768 router ports will remain exceptionally expensive, it would be even more expensive to engineer a SONET over Ethernet network.
Gross says carriers will keep buying 40 Gigabit router ports well into the next decade. However the purchases will come in lower volumes as corporations and governments buy 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
In addition, ILECs and PTTs that provision Ethernet links will continue to do so for their corporate customers' private lines and over dedicated wavelengths and at 40 Gigabits and under, for VPLS connections.
Gross says the market will splinter fairly quickly as component and system vendors who design products for specific topologies will fare better than those who strain to serve different needs equally.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray

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