Optical/IP Networks

10-Gigabit Ethernet

This section will look at several products from a few of the many companies now delivering 10-Gigabit Ethernet enabled systems. These include core routers, enterprise and metro switches, and an NIC. These products are summarized in Table 3: Table 3: Typical Systems
Company Chassis Max Number of Blades per Chassis Max I/O Bandwidth Max Switching Bandwidth 10GE Blade 10GE Ports per Blade Optical Module 10GE Port Types Switch Bandwidth per 10GE port 10GE Ports per Chassis
Cisco 12400 Series 15 150Gbit/s 160Gbit/s 10GE 10km 1 Proprietary 10GBase-LR 10Gbit/s 15
10GE 40km 1 Proprietary 10GBase-ER 10Gbit/s 15
Catalyst 12 120Gbit/s 128Gbit/s 10GE 10km 1 Proprietary 10GBase-LR or 10GBase-ER 10Gbit/s 11
Extreme Black Diamond 16 160Gbit/s 128Gbit/s 10GLRi 1 300 pin 10GBase-LR 8 Gbit/s 16
Force10 Networks E Series 14 280Gbit/s 640Gbit/s 2-port LAN 1310 2 300 pin 10GBase-LR 40 Gbit/s 28
2-port LAN 1550 2 300 pin 10GBase-ER 40 Gbit/s 28
2-port WAN 1310 2 300 pin 10GBase-LW 40 Gbit/s 28
Foundry BigIron NetIron FastIron 15 300Gbit/s 120Gbit/s LAN 850 1 300 pin 10GBase-SR 8 Gbit/s 15
LAN 1310 1 300 pin 10GBase-LR 8 Gbit/s 15
LAN 1550 1 300 pin 10GBase-ER 8 Gbit/s 15
2 Port XENPAK 2 XENPAK 10GBase-LR or 10GBase-ER 4 Gbit/s 30
Intel PRO/10GbE LR Server Adapter 1 10Gbit/s - PCI-X Card 1 XENPAK 10GBase-LR 4 Gbit/s 1

In most cases there are a range of systems available, typically with four, eight, or 16 I/O slots.

For each family, the maximum number of I/O slots is shown. This capacity is assuming no redundancy. Some systems, such as the Cisco 12400, use one of the slots to support a 1:1 redundant switch fabric, reducing the number of I/O slots, in this case, to 14. Other systems, such as the Extreme Networks Black Diamond, support graceful degradation of performance if a switch card fails but do not support 1:1 redundancy.

The fourth column shows the maximum I/O bandwidth with 10-Gigabit Ethernet blades fitted in each slot. For systems, like the Foundry Networks BigIron family, that can support either a single or dual 10-Gig Ethernet blade, it is assumed that dual 10-Gig Ethernet blades are fitted in all available slots. All of the products listed here, except the Intel Server card, can support Gigabit Ethernet ports as well, and most support a range of ports including Sonet/SDH and TDM.

The fifth column shows the maximum switching capacity of a fully loaded system. Some systems, such as the Extreme Black Diamond and Foundry BigIron, only support 8-Gbit/s switching bandwidth per I/O slot. The Force10 Networks E Series is the only system with enough raw switching bandwidth to support 40-Gbit/s per I/O slot.

“We have a next-generation general purpose platform,” says Force10’s Quiros. “We have targeted the group of users that need next-generation capability and full line-rate 10-Gigabit Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet with advanced capabilities like access lists and QOS, running simultaneously without impact on performance.”

The second half of the table shows the type of blade and the number of 10-Gig Ethernet ports per blade. Included are details of the type of optical module fitted and the 10-Gig Ethernet Port types supported. The Foundry 2 Port Xenpak is the only announced blade supporting Xenpak transponder modules. These blades, like the Cisco Catalyst blades, can be shipped with one of two types of optical module.

“Our first 10-Gigabit Ethernet products started shipping in Q4 of 2001 for revenue and was the industry's first 10-Gigabit Ethernet product to ship,” says Foundry’s Kopparapu. “We are now introducing a second-generation 10-Gigabit Ethernet module, which is based on a Xenpak optics and supports both 10GBase-LR and 10GBase-ER.”

Finally, for each blade type, the table shows the maximum, switched bandwidth available for each 10-Gig Ethernet port and the maximum number of 10-Gig Ethernet ports that can be supported in a single chassis. The Foundry 2 Port Xenpak blade has a switched bandwidth of only 4 Gbit/s – however, this matches the maximum bandwidth supported by the Intel PCI-X server card. The PCI-X bus limits the Intel server card bandwidth, and any other similar card, to 4 Gbit/s.

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