Friday, April 23, 2021

Intel Touts 10Gb Ethernet in the Data Center

Under the mantra of “faster, cheaper and more,” Intel
introduced a new 10-Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) network adapter this week for
servers in the data center.

Along with the help if its San Jose, Calif.-based partner Cisco Systems
, the chipmaking giant Monday took the wraps off of its
PRO/10GbE SR Server Adapter ($4,770).

Intel said the new adapter is ideal
for data centers that involve distances of fewer than 300 meters. Later this
summer, the company said it plans on introducing a version for single-mode
fiber, the Intel PRO/10GbE LR Server Adapter, for applications involving
distances up to 10 kilometers, such as communications among regional data
centers.

Intel’s new 10Gb Ethernet products are coming at a time when companies
are rushing to put faster network connections in corporate desktops and data
centers that use bandwidth-intensive applications such as server clusters,
network storage, medical imaging and graphic design. Over the past year, the
company has been supplying PC manufacturers with their Intel Gigabit
Ethernet LAN connections built into the motherboard.

Gigabit Ethernet competes with ATM
in providing networking backbones. Gigabit Ethernet is simpler, but is
limited to data. ATM is more flexible and versatile, offering support for
voice, video and multimedia in addition to data.

According to analysts, making 10GbE server connectivity viable in the
data center requires an adapter that is priced at less than $5,000 and
operates on standard multimode fiber, which represents 90 percent of the
optical cabling in data center networks.

Intel said it is cutting costs and
making 10GbE more attractive by investing in XPAK optical technology.
Co-developed by Infineon, Intel and Picolight, the specification supports
standard server slots and dense I/O and PCI compatibility.

“In the higher layers of the enterprise network, 10 GbE has proven its
value in the aggregation of traffic among switches and in high-performance
computing applications,” said Hans Geyer, Intel vice president said in a
statement. “It now promises to fill a similar rapidly growing need in the
data center because the proliferation of GbE to the desktop and ever more
network intensive applications are demanding more bandwidth.”

To make sure that it does not live in a vacuum, Intel’s collaboration
with Cisco centered on interoperability with Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 Series
Switches, a perennial favorite in data centers. The two companies have been
jointly pushing for 10 GbE in the data center. In addition to educational
seminars, Intel and Cisco are conducting product sampling programs to assist
IT managers who are installing 10GbE networks.

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