The networking market has evolved dramatically over the past year, with many companies redefining their buying patterns in an unsettled economy. Faced with an economic slowdown, equipment manufacturers and technology providers have made a strategic decision to stand strong and support their long-term goals by investing in the development and deployment of new 10-Gbit/s technology.
Networking module manufacturers have launched many innovations in electrical/optical integration, enabling OEMs to introduce lower-cost platforms. With individual port prices dropping under $10,000 (from $60,000 just a year ago), the demand for 10-Gbit/s technology has extended beyond the carrier market, finding interest from a new crop of corporate buyers looking to deploy affordable, high-speed technology at every level of their organizations. For many, 10GE has met this need.
A staple of modern business, Ethernet continues to be a major contributor to the growth of enterprise networking, now positioned as a high-speed, unifying technology for LANs, MANs, and WANs. While Sonet is the standard of choice among many telecom carriers, Ethernet is the flavor of the day—and for good reason. Ethernet has a common, natural evolutionary path that extends beyond the traditional datacom and telecom markets. 10GE gained even greater credibility through the final ratification of the IEEE standard in 2002. This has encouraged many companies to deploy Ethernet as their primary medium for data, voice, and video traffic. In addition, the growing SAN and NAS (network-attached storage) markets are embracing 10GE as a technology ideally suited to the shifting demands of modern storage manufacturers. The industry has spoken, and Ethernet is here to stay.
Our industry doesn't need to convince the marketplace that Ethernet is a solid technology that will continue to be a major building block for networking needs. Most companies already use some form of Ethernet, and there's an expectation in the industry that it will continue to gain ever-increasing speed and reliability. Because of this, we're drafting a solid roadmap for sustainability, as well as success.