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Networking The Internet IT

IEEE Launches 400G Ethernet Standards Process 94

Posted by timothy
from the just-go-straight-to-800 dept.
alphadogg writes "The IEEE this week launched a study group to explore development of a 400Gbps Ethernet standard to support booming demand for network bandwidth. Networks will need to support 58% compound annual growth rates in bandwidth on average, the IEEE claims, driven by simultaneous increases in users, access methodologies, access rates and services such as video on demand and social media. Networks would need to support capacity requirements of 1 terabit per second in 2015 and 10 terabit per second by 2020 if current trends continue, the organization says."
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IEEE Launches 400G Ethernet Standards Process

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  • Even SSD drives couldn't send data fast enough for this. Most of my customers still use 100baseT. Some have upgraded to gigabit. I see very little use for this outside of large data centers,

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It says networks need to support it not individual machines.

    • When it comes to end users, gigabit is good for users that need to move large files, but 100baseT is plenty for the majority of desktop connections. I have many users that wouldn't notice if they were on a 10mb link because all they do is email and access a few lightweight browser-based apps.

      However, on the server side of things, we struggle with only having gigabit. Unless you have a full mesh network, you need to think in terms of core enterprise infrastructure where the backbone could be handling transfe

      • Re:Too fast (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:13AM (#43336263) Journal

        It also remains to be seen whether the IEEE wants to go after some of the non-ethernet interconnects with this one, to try to get ethernet into use for larger-than-single-chassis interconnection of things that are usually confined to single boxes and 'internal' busses.

        Your end user probably doesn't even need 1GbE; but his boring cheapo desktop probably has an 8(if 2.0) or 16(if 3.0) GB/s PCIe connector available for adding a graphics card. Hypertransport or QPI are faster still.

        If one had the desires of people building larger-scale closely interconnected systems in mind, a very, very, very fast flavor of ethernet(with convenient ethernet features not generally available on internal busses, like the more sophisticated switching and routing capabilities); but enough speed to serve as an interconnect for a rack full of blade modules with virtualized storage and networking, or NUMA across all blades, or both, could be quite handy.

        Such features have been available for a while in proprietary busses from the very expensive supercomputer outfits; but the IEEE may be looking to move in to that area with at least certain flavors of ethernet....

      • You seem to be forgetting about entertainment.

        An HD video can be quite large. You start getting many people downloading or streaming them, and pretty soon you are going to need huge bandwidth.
      • Soon 100mbps will be dead in Australia at least.
        With 50mbps and 100mbps internet plans readily available you'd need gigabit at least to avoid the internet slowing down your network or vice versa.

    • Which makes this perfect for datacenters...

    • This is for enterprise and ISPs. Most of the equipment that uses this kind of bandwidth just splits it up and sends it on its way. Imagine the trunks that connect ATT to Sprint... They aren't going anything with the data but routing it. Check out this switch, and it's an old one: http://www.tech.proact.co.uk/foundry/foundry_bigiron_rx16_switch.htm [proact.co.uk]

      What feeds that? Trunks like we're talking about here.

      • by pcjunky (517872)

        This is what I'm talking about. These links will be buried deep inside infrastructure. Most of us will never see even one. How many of us have even seen a 10G link?

        • Most of us will never see even one. How many of us have even seen a 10G link?

          I have. Many of you working in core IT will soon if you haven't already. They are all over the place in the heart of the biggest networks. This is because of the way common network architecture is done. Most networks at major corporations or institutions have a central core of some sort where all the VLANs run. That core is typically carrying traffic from most of the network segments all over the company. Sure, local traffic out at

    • by div_2n (525075)

      If you're trying to compare 100GigE and above to single SSD drives, then you don't operate in the technical space these speeds are built for at this time.

      Even corporate backbones bump into bottlenecks on occasion and I assure you that top end SANs can easily push that much data over a single interface considering they might have hundreds of drive in a massive array with caching technology that can bump performance even higher. And that's not considering if the drives are SSDs themselves.

      And that's not even

    • I would definitely have use for this, 1Gbps ain't nearly enough. 10Gbps would probably suffice, but those devices are horribly, horribly expensive and no one here in Finland seems to sell em for home-users at all.

    • Even SSD drives couldn't send data fast enough for this. Most of my customers still use 100baseT. Some have upgraded to gigabit. I see very little use for this outside of large data centers,

      1) Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. - Popular Mechanics, 1949
      2) I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year. - Editor of Prentice Hall business books, 1957
      3) There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. - Ken Olsen, 1977
      4) We will never make a 32-bit operating system. - Bill Gates, 1989*
      5) I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most imp

    • by sjames (1099)

      I don't think anyone is currently suggesting this for a connection to a single node. It would be used as a switch fabric and at some point likely as a long haul link.

    • by Sigg3.net (886486)

      You do everything in RAM and on the GPU. Bitcoin mining here I come!

  • Is it me or is the amount of information, when I look back through the history of the internet, that I get out of the 'net pretty much the same, just the traffic goes up?

    Is all that bandwidth really just wasted on shiny?

    • Yes and no. Shiny is a big part of it, but look at what we're streaming live that we weren't five years ago. Netflix is the big 'un, but music services like Pandora eat their share too. Then we also have cloud services - Chrome OS being a prime example of exactly how much the cloud can do now. Games have hopped on the bandwagon too with always-on DRM or server-side processing. Many traditional PC tasks have been moved to the LAN or WAN. Even for users that still do everything on the desktop, backing up to t

      • And next up is lossless. FLAC and PNG already have it covered for audio and photo but personally I'm itching for lossless video all the way from camera to eyeball and every transcoding, editing, transmitting and storage step in between. In 8k.

        • When we get to streaming 8k 3D lossless video to every person in the world, that is when the bandwidth rise will entirely flatten out. At least that's my prediction.

          I base that assumption on the idea that I don't see anything currently out there more intensive than video, but then again, maybe we'll have invented transporter imaging technology and be sending high resolution maps of every atom in someone's body around the net. So I leave open the idea that I could be wrong about the curve ending.

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:21AM (#43336309) Journal

      Is all that bandwidth really just wasted on shiny?

      You it's all just shiny, the world is going to hell in a handbasket and our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.

      Now if you excuse me, I'll go and install that CentOS VM from the DVD image which downloaded in under an hour, listen to some streaming music and perhaps watch something on iPlayer this evening.

      Facetiousness aside, the increase in capacity is great. I can easily share huge files with far-flung co-workers, upload/download whole VM images to IAAS providers, watch video on the net and a whole host of other things.

      Oh, and finally, have you seen how fast "download all headers and articles" goes these days on even a busy usenet group? I remember doing that over a modem and it's much better now.

      I certainly get my money's worth.

      • Yes, yes, higher bandwidth is nice because we can now download what we had to wait for for hours in mere seconds. But did that really increase the data volume? That's like saying increasing the pressure in the water faucet makes us cleaner because we can now more easily wash ourselves, since we needn't collect the drops in a bucket anymore but can just turn on the faucet and wash ourselves. Do you wash yourself more just because more water is available?

        You downloaded CentOS in a few minutes rather than a fe

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Is it me or is the amount of information, when I look back through the history of the internet, that I get out of the 'net pretty much the same, just the traffic goes up?

      I don't think you really considered the growth of information that is accessible now. In the mid or late 90s, we were still paying by check (and getting cancelled checks back!) - now we can take a picture of the check with our phone and deposit it that way. Back then, all of your government and utilities (and most businesses) relied on snail mail and paper forms - now there are some things where a paper form isn't even available. I dare say that almost every document that used to be faxed is now transferred

      • Fax machines are still used in some fields because their acceptance as legally-binding copies of signed contracts has already been tested in the courts and case law / precedents already established. This has not yet occurred for "electronic signatures" [wikipedia.org], so the legal validity of electronically signed contracts is not as well established in courts of law, at least in the USA.
        .
        There are also privacy issues, and the risk and susceptibility of interception when transmitting unencrypted sensitive information
        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I have a fax number for the increasingly-small volume of faxes I need to send (and less frequently, receive) for the reasons you describe. Even then, my faxes go out and are received via email. I imagine there are niche users who use faxes all the time, but there is no question that overall volume is declining in favor of internet-based systems.

  • I can't cite it, so it never happened, but the transfer of data, its more intensive examples, benefits corporations and governments and corporations and governments only. Human to human contact, such as voice calls, were promised to be ubiquitous and free because what worth corporations would derive from digital technology's rapid growth dwarfed what benefit an individual might. Instead, a text message is given charge by the character. An international call is distinguished from a local one. Maybe somone sm
    • I've been with several carriers and have never had a text message charged by the character... as far is billing goes, I either sent/received a message or I didn't. There's also plenty of ways to have free voice or video calls (including internationally) if you're willing to use a computer headset instead of a phone. People still cling to the old ways, so companies do too... including billing for the old ways.

      • I appreciate the accuracy you address. Text by the character was my memory from a carrier in Los Angeles in 2005. And I live outside the US and benefit from Skype, Google's clients and FaceTime, so the very trend I call to question is observed by the premise I frame somewhat. But what compelled me to post what I did was the attention granted to public and reported technological advances versus its shadow? Its scrutiny? Thanks for replying.
  • ' Networks will need to support 58% compound annual growth rates in bandwidth on average, the IEEE claims, driven by simultaneous increases in users, access methodologies, access rates and services such as video on demand and social media. Networks would need to support capacity requirements of 1 terabit per second in 2015 and 10 terabit per second by 2020 if current trends continue, the organization says."

    Just looking at the current rate of growth and extending it out indefinitely is clearly absurd. Exp

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:13AM (#43336269)

    As of my post there were 8 posts, all pessimistic either stemming from "they will never be able to do it" or "customers wont want to upgrade" or "most of my customers are still 100mb, and thats all anyone will ever need"

    Who are you people? This is a cool and exciting new technology. Since when did this become a website full of luddites? (and seriously, the "100mb/640k is enough for everybody" people can go fuck yourselves)

    • by Shatrat (855151)

      I'm already using 100G, at work at least. I'm expecting to move to 400G (OTU5 on the transport side, carrying a 400GbE payload) within the next 3-5 years.
      I expect the pessimists are the 'MSIE' types and 'HTML programmers'. This is a real thing that we are really going to need soon.

      • Thank you for returning at least some of my faith in the community.

        • by Shatrat (855151)

          No problem. Actually I misspoke a bit. I'll probably be moving to 400G OTU5 carrying 4x100GbE payloads at first, and then move to OTU5 carrying one 400GbE payload once router interfaces catch up.

    • 100Mb is good enough for most devices isn't really luddite.

      It's called practicality, at least from a home point of view, where a handful of average devices will still have a hard time saturating a 100Mb link.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I don't know if it qualifies as a luddite, but demand has actually been less than I expected. When I in 1993 saw "The 7th Guest" shipping on 2 CDs for a whopping gigabyte, I would have thought the games and video we see today would take many, many terabytes. But with much more powerful computers and much better compression you can deliver so incredibly much more in a gigabyte. 10 -> 100 Mbit was wonderful, 100 Mbit -> GigE was luxury and 10G... well honestly I don't feel the need even if it was reason

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        I think we're approaching the point where "How much bandwidth do you have?" will be like asking "How big are your water pipes?" Don't know, but plenty to cook and shower and run a washing machine and water the lawn.

        You generally have no choice of water companies. Asking "how big are your water pipes" is silly because you never had a choice of pipes, so it never mattered, and you never had a choice of pipe providers. If the water companies were all for-profit and there was some (limited) competition and not only was it metered, but you had to pay pipe rental based on your diameter, then yes, people would know their pipe size and discuss it with others, and compare in the marketplace.

    • by Sigg3.net (886486)

      Because it makes my CAT6A-in-the-wall-of-every-room investment look like a bad decision.

      Well I, for one, welcome our insanely rapid Ethernet overlords!

      Anyone wanna buy some CAT6A bulk?

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Cool tech is trumped by "but what does it mean to me". I'm playing with 100 Gb at work as well. Though it would be at least 10 years before 400 Gb made it to the desktop. I haven't seen any home equipment that uses 10 Gb yet, and even if it did, the rest of a home machine couldn't push bits that fast. And with a 10 Mb Internet, it doesn't do me any good. 1Gb will be about all we'll see in the home for a while, and that's good enough for any current use.
  • 2020 (Score:4, Informative)

    by concealment (2447304) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:14AM (#43336273) Homepage Journal

    FTFA:

    D'Ambrosia expects a similar timeline for 400G Ethernet: standard ratification in 2017.

    The article also notes that 100G, which was ratified in 2010, is just now barely coming online.

    Thus doing a little math, we're likely to see this standard in 2020 at the earliest, later if the nation collapses in insolvency.

    • Re:2020 (Score:5, Funny)

      by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:19AM (#43336297)

      They're hoping it will go a little quicker because they outsourced the design to China; If you open up a 400GB switch you'll find it's actually just a few thousand 10mb hubs soldered together.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Likewise, buying anything more than a 1Gb ethernet card is absurdly expensive, still. Why can't I get a decent low-end single port 10Gigabit card for under $300 yet?

      • by jon3k (691256)
        Why is over $300 "absurdly expensive" and under it not absurdly expensive? Seems really arbitrary. You can get an X520-T2 (dual port 10GBASE-T) for under $700.

        But the simple answer is supply and demand. The only people who really need 10GbE (other than network carriers) is in the datacenter. Especially in highly virtualized workloads and extra especially when we're carrying storage and network traffic on the same 10GbE link(s). I guess you don't remember how insanely expensive 1GbE was when it first
        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          Because I can buy 10 1GB/s cards for less than $100. No, they're not Intel cards. But how much demand is there for standalone Ethernet cards anymore? There's probably more market for them in the SMB sector than there is for home users, I'd wager.

          And no, I really don't remember how insanely expensive 1gigE was when it hit the market. I first started getting gigE equipment in about 2001, 2002 - which was basically right after it was commercially available/mass produced. It was only a year or two old at the ti

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      what would the USA going into insolvency have to do with it? we don't make stuff, and China is growing markets and resource acquisition in southeast asia, africa, and south america.

      • We (US) don't manufacture stuff. But its investment, design and license does qualify as "make".
        • by iggymanz (596061)

          no, those are instances of what are called "paper bullshit wealth" and they can disappear in an instant. another example would be the "Federal Reserve Note"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And I am glad to see that some of the readers have picked up on that.

    Not needed for desktop- as many have said, most have 100mb at home and wouldn't see a difference between that and GigE.
    But infrastructure that was blazing fast 10 years ago with 100 users is now crawling at a snail's pace with 5000 users.

    Usage per device has gone up quite a bit, which has an impact.
    The increase in the number of connected devices has had an impact.
    Add the two together....
    Yeah, current network infrastructure is not sufficien

    • Usage per device has gone up quite a bit, which has an impact.
      The increase in the number of connected devices has had an impact.
      Add the two together....

      Multiply, actually.

  • Marketing buffoons: "Woohoo! More blinly-twirly CGI widgets and streamed kewt kitteh ads!"

    Web Developers: "That will be $$$, please."

    Data Center Professionals: "It's about time!"

    Consumers on throttled DSL or cable connections: "Meh..."

  • Moving uncompressed HD video (4:2:2 10-bit) requires about 1.5 Gbps, so I am very happy to see the ability to carry 266 professional video streams in one 400 GbE connection in the broadcast plant.

    UHDTV1 (sometimes incorrectly called 4K) resolution at 60 fps requires 12 Gbps for 4:2:2 10-bit uncompressed, so it already jumps into 40 GbE connections. I have to admit I am not sure if we will see uncompressed 4K very often even in production, but potentially a visually lossless codec around 1 Gbps would make a

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