Article at Network World this week on developments on the terabit Ethernet front
Looking down the LAN road, the Terabit Ethernet milestone is very much in sight. While 3.2Tbps and 6.4Tbps speeds were demonstrated in test environments by Siemens/WorldCom and NEC/Nortel respectively starting in 2001, the first set of viable solutions are just now taking shape.
…By focusing on materials research related to fiber-optic circuits, Australia’s Center for Ultra-high bandwidth Device for Optical Systems (CUDOS) achieved a breakthrough with the introduction of an exotic compound called “Chalcogenide” that could make commercializing Terabit circuits practical. Although CUDOS Research Director Ben Eggleton says it will take years to reach production readiness, this does coincide with Bob Metcalfe’s prediction that we may start seeing the first commercial use of Terabit Ethernets by 2015.
What are we going to do with all that bandwidth? Not sure, but it will be swell. We promise.
Metcalfe’s dream for Ethernet was driven by the belief that if you build it, they will come. And that includes the needs themselves. Metcalfe said last year he wants to “help shape a road map” to Terabit Ethernet, because “we’re going to get there anyway.” As we move further into the paradigm of cloud computing, where computing power and storage will gradually move to the center of the network, it becomes necessary that the network be fast enough to meet the needs of this new, highly distributed model. The aspiration of “the network being the computer” can only become real if the network is as fast as the computer, if not faster.