What cabling will support 40GbE?

Global experts discuss what cable types are most suited to 40GbE

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What cabling will support 40GbE?
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By  Georgina Enzer Published  September 18, 2013

Global experts discussed what cable types are most suited to 40GbE and whether this technology is data-centre centric or if it can be used in buildings.

The Network Middle East Cable Debate topic two looked at what type of cabling is best suited to support 40GbE in the data centre environment. Since 40GbE is not yet available, this debate looked at what the global cable standards bodies are considering to support 40GbE in the future and what type of cabling is likely to make the most sense.

Richard Mei: There are only two 4G solutions available in the data centre, one is fibre optics the other is coaxl cable based. The IEEE Call for Interest slides clearly state that 40GBase-T is geared toward data centre application. I believe 40GBase-T will be very data centre centric and may not be applicable to desktop arena unless the building architecture changes to a degree that would accommodate 30m 2-connector channels instead of the conventional 100m 4-connector channels.

At this moment consultants and engineers design for 100m horizontal coverage from the telecommunications room or IDF in a building so it is difficult to provision for 40GBase-T in buildings. The lack of bandwidth-demanding desktop applications is another barrier for 40GBase-T deployment. However, the latest wireless access point technology such as 802.11ac really requires a highspeed backhaul connection. A single 1000Base-T link is insufficient to support the traffic between 11ac and switch port. It requires multiple 1000Base-T links through link aggregation to satisfy the need of bandwidth. With the growth of wireless devices and processing power, this application is a potential candidate to utilise high-speed Ethernet protocols such as 10GBase-T now or 40GBase-T in the future.

Valerie Maguire: What I would like to do is agree with Richard 100%. Nothing Richard said was incorrect.

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