10GbE is certainly huge. In answer to your next two questions, 10GBASE-T auto-negotiates between 10/100/1000/10G. So if a company was looking at longevity in their investments, this could be a huge savings even if they are an early adopter when prices are higher. They could use 1G speeds and progress up to the higher speeds by simply changing out a NIC card as they needed the speed. This means that a switch would last longer and provide a greater lifespan than say a 1G switch that would eventually have to be replaced. The cost of making a chip is cut in half every 18 months so the new 10GBASE-T chips will eventually become very reasonable.
As for InfiniBand or 10GBASE-CX4, the main problem with this technology is the distance limitation of 15m and the fact that it runs on coax instead of a standard structured cabling system. In many data centers, 15m is not sufficient to go from one row of racks to another which may mean that some rearrangement will be necessary (this is VERY expensive in a data center due to the number of users that rely on the connections). I personally believe that 10GBASE-T will replace InfiniBand – it would be relatively simple for InfiniBand manufacturers to update to 10GBASE-T – but that remains to be seen. I have been told that at least a few have pulled the products in anticipation of releasing 10GBASE-T components instead. Please don't ask me to name names.
Dig deeper on Ethernet
Related Q&A from Carrie Higbie, Data Center Networking Expert
With a growing number of online resources, is the Magic Quadrant still the No. 1 source of vendor information?continue reading
To view networking infrastructure and project management expert Carrie Higbie's latest advice, see her Public Profile on the IT Knowledge Exchange.continue reading
Find out the industry standards for twisted pair cable length in this response from network infrastructure expert Carrie Higbie.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.