Better, Faster, Cheaper Ethernet: The Road From 100G to 800G

Worldwide IP traffic has been increasing immensely in the enterprise and consumer division, driven by growing numbers of Internet users, as well as growing numbers of connected devices that provide faster wireless and fixed broadband access, high-quality video streaming and social networking capabilities.

Data centers are expanding globally to support computing, storage and content delivery services for enterprise and consumer users. With higher operation efficiency (CPU usage), higher scalability, lower costs and lower power consumption per workload, cloud data centers will process 92% of overall data center workloads by 2020; the remaining 8% of the workload will be processed by traditional data centers.

According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index 2015-2020, hyperscale data centers will grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020, representing 47% of all installed data center servers.

Cisco Global Cloud Index

Source: Cisco

Global annual data center traffic will grow from 6.5 ZB (zettabytes) in 2016 to 15.3 ZB by 2020. The majority of traffic will be generated in cloud data centers; most traffic will occur within the data center.

When it comes to supporting cloud business growth, higher performance and more competitive services for the enterprise (computing and collaboration) and consumers (video streaming and social networking), common cloud data center challenges include:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Port density
  • Power density
  • Product availability
  • Reach limit
  • Resilience (disaster recovery)
  • Sustainability
  • System scalability

This is the first in a series of seven blogs that will appear throughout the rest of 2017; in this series, we’ll walk you down the road to 800G Ethernet. Here, we take a close look at Ethernet generations and when they have (or will) come into play.

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