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August 21, 2012

Demand Grows for Ethernet Extender as Users Still Have a Need for Speed

TMCnet Contributing Editor


 

When it comes to the performance of the network, we want nothing quite as badly as we want speed. The question is: how fast is fast enough? This question must be answered when establishing the Ethernet standard, and in exploration of the Ethernet Extender.

A recent CNet report highlighted that computing experts are expected to announce on Monday plans to tackle the next obstacle in the road for optimizing the Ethernet standard. The only bad news is the new speed options are not expected to be available on the feature list for the next consumer computer.

Established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE (News - Alert)), the standard is expected to reach speeds for data-transfer between 400 GB per second and 1 terabit per second. By comparison, the latter is fast enough to copy more than two favorite movies – on Blu-Ray no less – in just one second.  

The average laptop, however, likely hits its maximum speed at 100 MB per second, possibly a full GB per second. Of course this speed assessment is based on the assumption that an Ethernet port is in use.

As the popularity of the thin laptop grows, Ethernet ports seem to be on the chopping block.

One issue, of course, is that most users don’t really know the true speed of their Ethernet connections, and therefore aren’t even aware of the possibility of the Ethernet Extender. The true bottleneck for these individuals is their current broadband solution that is connecting them to the Internet – which they often assume controls the speed of their total processing.

Even with this block, faster Ethernet – and the need for the Ethernet extender – still matters. Companies operating on the other side of the Internet connection – such as Google, Facebook (News - Alert), financial services firms and even telecommunications providers – are dealing with significant growth in terms of network capacity.

If these providers cannot expand or develop new features for all users, the Internet essentially slows down, seems less useful, lacks entertainment or is perceived as an option that has become more expensive. 

The IEEE engineers concluded in July that the bandwidth related to core networking capabilities was doubling every 18 months. As a result, engineers made the decision to form a new group to determine how best to address that need.

"For 2015, we expect the bandwidth that needs to be supported to be 10 times what it was in 2010, and in 2020, 100 times what it was in 2010," John D'Ambrosia told CNet. D’Ambrosia is the chair of the new Higher-Speed Ethernet Consensus group that will lay the groundwork for the actual standard.

To reach these lofty goals, not only do standards need to be re-examined, decision makers need to consider the value that can be realized with the Ethernet extender. Speed and accessibility will continue to be in demand and new solutions must be able to support the anticipated growth.

The right decisions and implementations concerning Ethernet are essential to long-term success.


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Edited by Braden Becker
 

 
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