Juniper revs Ethernet to 100Gbps

The 100Gbps Ethernet interface card is an industry first, and is announced far ahead of the standard's actual ratification by the IEEE

Juniper Networks has announced the industry's first 100Gbps Ethernet router interface card.

The networking company unveiled the 100Gbps Ethernet interface on Monday. The card will be sold as part of Juniper's T1600 core router, which is a high-performance product aimed mostly at telecommunications providers, but also usable by cloud-infrastructure companies and others rolling out large-scale virtualisation.

"[100Gbps Ethernet] has always been inevitable, it has just been a question of when — now trends such as cloud computing, datacentre consolidation and virtualisation are making the need for [100Gbps Ethernet] more acute and urgent than ever before," Opher Kahane, Juniper's general manager of high-end systems, said in a statement.

The 100Gbps Ethernet standard has not been published yet. Right now, it is being incubated, alongside 40Gbps Ethernet, by the IEEE's P802.3ba Ethernet task force, with final publication not expected for a year, at least. The fastest currently published Ethernet standard is 10Gbps.

Juniper's method of coming up with a 100Gbps Ethernet connection involves aggregating ten 10Gbps streams into one 100Gbps pipe, Ovum principal analyst John Mazur told ZDNet UK.

Mazur said on Tuesday that this method was "kind of a shorthaul interface but definitely a piece of the puzzle [in the drive] towards [true 100Gbps Ethernet]".

Juniper's 100Gbps Ethernet interface card is "expected to be deployed in customer pilot networks before the end of 2009", the company said, but did not say why the product was being released before the standard is finalised.


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