10GBASE-T Economics

Posted by Frank Yang on January 11, 2012

I have received a lot of good questions with regards to my recent blog “40/100 GbE Economics.”  I’m glad this topic is generating not only discussion around the technology itself, but the financial implications that also exist.  The feedback from this blog has encouraged me to write again, except this time I will focus on the economic impact of 10GBASE-T technology. 10GBASE-T is the 10 Gigabit Ethernet running over balanced twisted pair copper cabling, such as SYSTIMAX® GigaSPEED X10D. 

The cost to end users of 10GBASE-T technology has been dramatically declining. Figure 1 uses two types of key products for illustrations. They are 10GBASE-T network interface card (NIC) and Ethernet switch. A NIC typically is installed in a server and connected to a switch port through a copper cabling channel. Both NICs and switches are the key electronic equipment to provide network connections to servers. The chart shows the list prices of NIC and switch on a per port basis. The brown square line denotes the 10GBASE-T NIC prices per port. The blue diamond line represents the 10GBASE-T switch per port price. The chart shows the per port costs of NIC and switch have declined 87% and 70% respectively since 2007.

The price decline of 10GBASE-T would favor end users’ adoption in year 2012. Per my observation, the per Gb/s per port cost of 10GBASE-T is approximately 60% lower than the one of 1GBASE-T. 1GBASE-T is 1 Gbps Ethernet over balanced twisted pair cabling. So, to me it is actually cheaper to invest in 10GBASE-T than in 1GBASE-T on per Gb/s per port basis.

Each year hundreds of millions of 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and 1GBASE-T switch ports were shipped. In my opinion, Category 6A copper cabling is the best and most cost effective medium to implement seamless upgrade from 1G or even 10/100 Mbps to 10G in both the data center or commercial building environment.

CommScope GigaSPEED X10D copper cabling solutionscan meet customers’ needs of 1G connectivity today and meanwhile be ready for 10G in the future.

Is 10GBASE-T in your future?

About the Author

Frank Yang

Frank Yang

Yinglin (Frank) Yang is the Manager, Technologies and Solutions, Enterprise Data Center Market Segment for CommScope. Frank is responsible for shaping the strategic vision, technology and product roadmap for DCBU. Before joining CommScope, Yang worked at Dell and was responsible for server hardware development. He serves as Marketing Chairperson for the Next Generation Enterprise Cabling Subcommittee of the Ethernet Alliance. He is a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Data Center Storage Networking Design Specialist. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, has numerous of patents and published several whitepapers. Frank has presented at Ethernet Alliance’s Technology Exploration Forum, Webinar hosted by Cabling Installation and Maintenance Magazine and the BICSI Conference.

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