There are two things that are driving the need for speed in data centers: server virtualization and converged networking. Virtual machines still require the same amount of networking bandwidth as they did when they were single physical servers; they have to support the same number of application(s). In addition to the increased traffic brought on by server virtualization, network bandwidth requirements go up again as networks are converged. One individual network infrastructure must now carry/support, multiple simultaneous protocols; which is why the networking infrastructure is now more important than ever.
Nowhere else in the industry provides opportunities such as the Ethernet Alliance’s plugfests. With the Terafabric plugfest participating companies had the ability to test a wide array of connectivity options, with various system vendors, OEM suppliers, and test equipment vendors, all within one location.
The Terafabric plugfest is built on several leading edge networking technologies. 40G Ethernet was used as the connection between a core switch and an aggregation switch. 40G Ethernet, that uses the QSFP+ form factor, was used for implementing the down links to the servers by breaking up the 40G Ethernet aggregate link into 4, 10G Ethernet links that use the SFP+ form factor. Additionally, other 10G Ethernet links were implemented with either SFP+ optical modules, Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cable assemblies, or 10GBASE-T. All of these connectivity options were used for the Terafabric platform.
Tom Kovanic, Solutions Marketing Manager — High Speed Data Transport (HSDT)