What does 100GbE look like?


LAS VEGAS. The ‘funny’ thing about networking is it all really looks the same on the outside for the most part – no matter how awesome the underlying technology.

Case in point is a demo I saw here at NXTcomm for 100GbE – that’s 100 gigabits per second of Ethernet traffic on a single port. That’s the fastest connection on Earth and it’s not yet a standard or publicly available though it will be soon.

I’ve got a full story up on the main InternetNews.com site about the 100GbE demonstration here – but what does it actually look like?

It’s a set of boxes with the usual confluence of wires and then there is an LCD screen on which Ixia is showing the traffic speed with some dials. That’s it.

I suppose seeing the fastest Ethernet connection in the known universe should have struck more SHOCK AND AWE, but how can you show something that fast any other way? In Science Fiction when a ship jumps to light speed there is some kind of fancy special effect for the jump and then star trails for the speed while in hyperspace. It doesn’t quite work that way in networking.

But it’s still cool to me – a 100GbE connection is a major milestone for Ethernet and for the Internet..

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