Gigabit Ethernet came to life more than a decade ago, and has become the de-facto standard connection in nearly every single NIC shipped with servers, desktop PCs, and Laptops. While Local Area Networks ran on Gigabit, the WAN that aggregates at most ISP’s Last-Mile office are only lower bandwidth usually 2 to 10 Mbps to each resident location via DSL or Cable.
However, in the last few years with Verizon FIOs, and other operator switching to providing last-mile Fiber connection, residents have been able to enjoy 10Mbps to 50Mbps connections at home. Cable companies such as Time Warner and Cable Vision has since also started offering high bandwidth Cable that provides 10Mbps to 30Mbps connections to residents. What this means are the old Gigabit edge Switches and 10 Gigabit Core aggregation is soon going to be not enough to support the growing network infrastructure by the demands of residential consumers who are streaming gigabytes of data at each location.
This means that the network infrastructure at the ISP edge and core, as well the content provider’s data-centers will have to change. Couple weeks ago, Intel announced 10G connections will be integrated into their Romney Chipset for Server platforms. And Cisco acquisition of Lightwire who specialized in optical interconnect are more signs of both the Chipzilla and the network giant predict the mass adoption of 10G standard at Edge/Access side, and 40G/100G at Core. Juniper has had their 100G platform in their T1600 Core switches for several large ISP to test/use for a while, and should be available for more larger ISPs in 2012.
If you are a ISP, Data-Center host, or Content Provider, it is best to start preparing now before it is too late when you start to actually feel the pinching bandwidth. Nothing is worse when costumers start complaining about slow access and streaming.