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The network has become a mission-critical component for today's organizations. It is responsible for far more than just enabling the applications that drive business operations. Today's network infrastructures are extensions of business operations that must adapt to rapid growth, data-intensive applications, security threats, and new technologies that extend the edge of the network.

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Networks today are experiencing an explosion in traffic growth caused by the demand for ubiquitous high bandwidth that delivers on-demand content at anytime and anywhere. Businesses and consumers want inexpensive, always-on, high-speed access for the applications of their choice on any deviceā€”at work, on the go, and at home. As a result, service providers and enterprises must scale their networks to meet this rising commodity traffic demand while maximizing the revenue-cost gap. And now, an even greater and unprecedented need for performance and scale is required across all network types as advanced cloud services and applications are deployed. High-density 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is the innovative technology that transform network infrastructures and business models to meet these growing demands.

10 Gigabit Ethernet
Today, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) has become a mainstay for Metro Area Networks (MANs) within enterprise and service provider networks. 10 GbE or 802.3ae, which is a standard, enables the use of Ethernet for transporting data, voice, and video traffic within enterprise and carrier networks.

10 GbE can be used to connect backbones switches and routers, simplifying network connectivity and administration. In addition, bandwidth capacity for the enterprise backbone is increased and network latency between switches and routers is reduced. The plug-and-play nature of Ethernet reduces administration and operating costs from 1 GbE bandwidth workstations, servers, and switches, to an upgraded 10 GbE enterprise backbone.

10 GbE is designed for service providers as well as enterprise data centers. Service providers are using 10 GbE for their networks because Ethernet is cost-effective, providing a lower CapEx and a higher ROI. In addition, Ethernet comes with increasing number of "service technologies," ensuring greater flexibility for delivering customer-facing services. Finally, service providers' enterprise customers are increasingly requiring native Ethernet as their preferred service connection to simplify their network infrastructure and increase the speed of their branch-to-branch office connectivity.

100 Gigabit Ethernet
Since its inception, Ethernet technology has continued to evolve to meet the increasing bandwidth, media diversity, cost, and reliability demands of today's Internet. The latest Ethernet evolution increases its capacity to 100 GbE. Ethernet and IP have become the underlying technologies that enable ubiquitous network access over a variety of wired and wireless media. From high-speed home broadband to wireless networks in remote villages, Internet traffic starts, transits, or ends on an Ethernet interface.

The 100 GbE (and 40 GbE) standards were adopted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 Working Group in 2010. These revolutionary new Ethernet speeds open the door to significantly higher-capacity networks and enable networks to scale in ways that were previously impossible using 10 GbE.

100 GbE was designed with specific target applications and markets in mind--in service provider, data center, and enterprise networks--and the flexibility of the new speeds and interfaces allow each technology to be used in a variety of different applications. Capacity and redundancy are key requirements in all applications, and resiliency features such as Link Aggregation (LAG), Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) routing, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) are key factors to consider in these new applications.

10 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet for the Cloud
As networks of all types migrate to the cloud, the value and need for 10 GbE and 100 GbE becomes increasingly apparent. High-capacity Ethernet solutions are required by everyone from service providers looking to generate new revenue streams through cloud based services to large enterprises trying to support instantaneous and effortless collaboration across multiple sites. Brocade delivers these types of network solutions with industry-leading density and performance providing new levels of network scalability and simplicity for cloud-optimized networks.

10/100 Gigabit Ethernet Resources

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Provides a high level overview of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) WAN PHY defined in the IEEE 802.3ae standard.


Terms that define Ethernet ports, such as 10GBASE-SR, often have two meanings—one from the standard and one from the industry. This paper explains the industry nomenclature of the most common types of Ethernet ports.


Presents an overview of the 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards (recently adopted by the IEEE), technologies, and applications in service provider, data center, and enterprise networks.


The Brocade MLXe multiservice IP/MPLS routers, part of the Brocade One network architecture, reflect the Brocade imperative of unmatched simplicity, optimized applications, non-stop networking, and investment protection in delivering customer solutions.