Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tracking 10G Ethernet

There will be a lot of hubbub about high-end interconnects at the Supercomputing 2007 conference this week. So I asked how many systems on the Top 500 list use 10 Gbit Ethernet links. It turns out, no one knows yet because the folks that compile the list still collect the data by asking whether interconnects are at the 100 Mbit or Gbit level, a sore spot they are moving to heal.

Meanwhile market researchers such as Dell Oro Group and The Linley Group estimate of the eight million servers that shipped in 2006, 90 percent used Gbit Ethernet. They believe about one million 10G ports or 50,000 10G Ethernet cards will ship in 2007, mostly in high-end Unix systems. That ain't much by Ethernet standards. Nevertheless, the same market watchers say Infiniband is growing about 40 percent a year and should hit sales of a million units in 2010, a breakneck pace for the more niche-y interconnect.

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