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10G and 12 years later...

Gigabit Ethernet finally unseated as the predominant data center Ethernet network

It took 12 years for 10G Ethernet to unseat Gigabit Ethernet as the predominant Ethernet networking technology in the data center. Ten gigabit Ethernet surpassed Gigabit Ethernet in the latter part of 2013 after some "robust" year-end growth, says Crehan Research.

It was not without hiccups. Initial 10G switch offerings in the early 2000s had very low port densities and high prices. Pluggable optical modules were also costly, and came in many flavors and form factors: 300pin, XENPAK, XPAK, XFP, X2 and finally SFP+.

+MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Factors converging to drive 10G+

Ten gigabit Ethernet was also limited as a default network on volume rack servers, 10GBase-T was slow to emerge, and two major recessions stalled the market: the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s, and the Great Recession of 2008.

"When I first saw 10 gigabit Ethernet switches arrive on the market back in 2001, I never thought that we would be well into the next decade before these products would comprise a majority of data center Ethernet port shipments," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research, in the press release on his findings. "This technology was encumbered by numerous obstacles on its way to becoming a majority of data center connections."

Now that 10G is the data center norm, it shouldn't take that long for "higher-speed, next-gen" switches - 40/100G - to gain traction as an uplink and aggregation technique for all of the 10G out there... Should it?

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