10G: Foundation for Data Center Technologies
As companies upgrade their data centers to meet evolving business needs, 10 Gigabit Ethernet has established itself as the ideal foundational technology. It delivers the following benefits to the next-generation data center:
Cisco supports a wide array of use cases for a cost-effective migration from 1 Gigabit (Gb) Ethernet to 10 Gigabit (Gb) Ethernet, including:
10GBASE-T Real-World Benefits
Simplicity of 10GBASE-T
Run 10 Gb Ethernet Easily on 10GBASE-T
The Role of 10G in Virtualized Environments
Lossless 10 Gb Ethernet: Unifying SAN and LAN
Third-Party Technology Resources
Boosting Data Center Throughput with 10G (PDF - 771 KB)
Several media and transceiver options are available today for 10 Gigabit Ethernet server connectivity. Considerations for use cases depend on variables such as cost, latency, distance, power consumption, and technology availability. Cisco provides two main 10 Gb Ethernet copper server connectivity options today:
Category 6A (Cat6a) copper cabling was developed in conjunction with the 10GBASE-T standard to achieve reliable 10-Gbps operation over 100-meter copper twisted-pair channels. 10GBASE-T has higher latency and consumes more power than other 10 Gb Ethernet physical layers. However, in 2008 10GBASE-T silicon became available from several manufacturers with claimed power dissipation of 6W and a latency approaching 1 microsecond.
10GBASE-CX-1 based direct attach cooper is an alternative copper solution that uses SFP+ direct-attach Twinax cabling. Although this solution has a limited cable distance of up to 10 meters, it provides a robust, power-efficient, and cost-effective solution for 10 Gb Ethernet transmission.
The SFP+ direct-attach solution is a fully integrated SFP+ cable that is available in multiple lengths up to 10 meters. The SFP+ direct-attach solution draws 1.5 watts (W) of power per port, has a latency of 0.1 microsecond, and is available today.
Regardless of these variances, Cisco offers a full range of standards-compliant, high performance copper-based 10G solutions.
Fiber cabling is typically used for longer distance connectivity and environments that need protection from interference. Since it is very reliable and less susceptible to attenuation, it is optimum for sending data beyond 100 meters.
Fiber and copper can be used in the same data center with the choice for each connection based on the distance between devices to be connected.