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40G/100G Ethernet: Virtualized Data Center and Campus Network
Date:2018-03-15 16:15:44 | Visits:

The trend of virtualization is obvious and consistent, which is rooted in the requirements for cost and performance efficiency, business agility, and IT department productivity. This trend cannot be ignored. However, in order to take full advantage of the virtualization environment, certain factors must be considered in terms of user connectivity, resource allocation, and maximization of infrastructure investment.

By effectively planning and deploying 40/100G Ethernet (GbE), enterprises can eliminate potential hurdles and fully realize the benefits of virtualized environment. The 40/100GbE is the key to increase capacity. If it is properly planned, 40/100GbE can offer a smooth path to upgrade as it will soon become the dominant standard. As one of the key foundations for building the next generation of virtualized data centers and campus environments, the 40 / 100GbE has embarked on a fast lane of growth.

This article describes the 40/100GbE architecture for virtualized data centers and campus network. IT managers are increasingly recognizing the significant benefits of 40/100GbE and seeing the tremendous potential as a data center and campus business building connectivity solution.

At the economic level, barriers to entry for the 40/100GbE market continue to decline. When it is upgraded to 40/100GbE network in the future, the current 10GbE network capital investment can be effectively protected. The Ethernet switches and fiber routing examples in this article are shown as follows:

  • 55% of switching equipment can be protected.
  • 57% of fiber optic cabling investment can be retained.

In terms of usability, more and more vendors are beginning to provide solutions for 40/100GbE ecosystems. Ethernet Alliance has hosted multiple interoperability events for 40/100GbE technology for several times. Both Cisco and CommScope are both actively involved in these activities. Therefore, people's concerns about closed supplier relationships in advance of deployment have disappeared.

On the one hand, the participation of multiple suppliers has increased the market supply. On the other hand, the widespread adoption of the market has reduced the deployment costs. Under these factors, the 40/100GbE infrastructure has become a reliable and wise investment now and in the future.

The ever-increasing appeal of the 40/100GbE makes it the best choice for people and comes standard with the next generation of high-bandwidth virtualization applications. Its superior performance and outstanding economic advantages in a virtualized environment have further contributed to its popularity.

Virtualized Data Center

The real data center virtualization is a combination of end-to-end virtualization that includes server virtualization, storage virtualization, and network virtualization, which can bring various kinds of advantages. Virtual machines and virtual networks are quick to deploy. Their energy efficiency and capacity can be dynamically adjusted according to the needs of various workloads without wasting resources. The speed of disaster recovery is faster, and the initial and ongoing costs are lower than the traditional non-virtualization model.

During the progress of going to virtualized data center and cloud computing, data center managers face many design and operational challenges. One of the most significant challenges of network design is providing enough bandwidth for the current and foreseeable future.

With converged network technologies, the fact that 10GbE is becoming a server access network may also be a good choice for storage access networks.

With 10GbE at the access layer, 40/100 GbE is proposed for deployment at the aggregation and core layers of the data center, where 40/100GbE eliminates the barriers that previously prevented virtualized data center from reaching their full potential.

Virtualized Campus

In the campus network, video is a rapidly growing application. Video applications are not just video conferencing or video streaming. Enterprise video applications include: desktop HD video, video telephony, corporate television, IP video surveillance as well as other video generation and sharing. BYOD is another trend that has emerged in the campus network. Video, voice, data and BYOD pose significant pressure on the distribution network and core network in the campus.

Comparing to traditional Layer 2 and Layer 3 network designs in the campus, core and distribution networks can be virtualized with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches through Virtual Switching System (VSS).

VSS is a network system virtualization technology that brings together two or more Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches into a single virtual switch. VSS adjusts the system's bandwidth capacity through automatic load sharing. VSS improves operational efficiency by simplifying the network to reduce switch management overhead by more than 50%. VSS enhances continuous communication without disrupting application services. VSS enhances existing multi-tier switching architectures without fundamentally changing the architecture, thereby increasing the convenience of technology adoption and migration.


Each physical Ethernet link has a cabling channel. The wiring costs of four 10GbE links (or channels), one 40GbE link, ten 10GbE links, and one 100GbE link are shown in FIG. 2, respectively. This is calculated by summing the costs of all cabling components and then dividing by the number of Ethernet links (or cabling channels) at the corresponding rate. The resulting quotient is the cost.

By using shared cabling components (here's the SYSTIMAX InstaPATCH 360 Trunk Cable and 360G2-1U Modular Bay), users can save 57% capital cost on multi-mode fiber cabling when migrating from today's 10GbE to future 40GbE or 100GbE.

The picture below lists the costs of 4x10G and 10x10G fiber optic cabling and superlatively compares with 40GbE and 100GbE. The cost of the 1x40G fiber-optic cable is nearly 4x10G, while 1x100G costs 19% less than 10x10G.



You might wonder why the cost of MPO cables increases when migrating from 4x10G to 1x40G and from 1x10G to 1x100G. This is because for 10GbE, only part of the trunk cable costs is incurred due to the unused fiber amortization. But for 40G and 100G, amortization is the cost of all trunk cables.

In other words, at 4x10G, only 4 out of 6 possible fiber-optic circuits are used, so only 4/6 of the cost is calculated. Similarly, for a 10x10G case, only 10 of the 12 fiber-optic circuits possibly will be used, so only the cost of 10/12 is calculated.

57% of investment protection rates are not the only savings for end users. When the distribution network and core network migrate to 40 / 100GbE, devices and jumpers can be reused for other parts of the network. For example, 10GbE access layer networks and even Fiber Channel SAN networks. As a result, end users will further improve investment protection rate.

In Conclusion

The continuing popularity of 40 / 100GbE has begun to redefine the existing IT landscape. This is just the first step toward the next generation of high-bandwidth connectivity required by the virtualized data center and campus.

As the 40 / 100GbE continues to demonstrate the full performance and economic potential of the virtualized environment and the number of campus deployments continues to grow, the 40 / 100GbE will surely qualify as a new standard due to its superiority in practice, speed and reliability to further consolidate.

Not only can the 40 / 100GbE deliver quick results, but it also provides the best path to upgrade, the discerning IT manager is bound to regard 40 / 100GbE as a key in any upgrade or new deployment plan Components, especially those that require full-park connectivity between data centers and in data centers and offices.



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