Pan-European network operator Interoute plans to test 100Gb Ethernet in the second half of next year as the next step up from its current 10Gb backbone.
Matthew Finnie, CTO of the London, UK-based carrier, said: There was 10Gb Ethernet available back in 2002, but it was really only in 2004/5 that the price of interfaces on routers made it a serious option. Now, by contrast, we’ve moved so fast to 10Gb that some people are starting to look at the next step up. We’ve had requests [from customers] for 40Gb, but the optical layer still hasn’t hit the economies to justify such a move.
He said this typically entails an increase of approximately two-and-a-half times the price of the previous speed, but the 40Gb offerings from Cisco and Juniper are still very expensive. Meanwhile, he said IT vendors such as HP and Sun are selling into the data center market and pushing 100Gb connectivity there.
Finnie said: 40Gb may end up becoming an expensive niche, because it’s still at least three times the price of 10Gb. Finnie said another problem with 40Gb networking, besides the price, is that 40 doesn’t divide evenly into 100, which makes it more difficult for a carrier like Interoute to allocate resources efficiently for all its customers.
For these reasons, he said Interoute will be testing 100Gb Ethernet with TDM presentation in the second half of next year.