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QLogic and Broadcom Demonstrate 25/100 Gbps Network Interconnectivity


January 28, 2015

Within the mix of product releases and cooperation between enterprises, there is a small niche of news that can make readers jump out of their chairs. The introduction of the first commercially available gigabit Internet speed may have been one of those events. Now, the release of the first end-to-end operability for 25 Gbps and 100 Gbps switches can reach that excitement level – only this time the news regards networks and server connectivity.

QLogic, a manufacturer of network hardware, recently announced that, in its cooperation with Broadcom, the pair has achieved interoperability between ethernet switches and controllers at those previously-listed speeds. With a Broadcom StrataXGS Tomahawk Switch and a QLogic cLOM8514 ethernet controller, the companies have demonstrated an achievement in that these cross-server speeds are taking place between each vendor's product. What this means for enterprises is that they could experience greater performance for less costs as a result of the advancement of 25 Gbps connection speeds.

Vikram Karvat, the vice president of products, marketing, and planning at QLogic, explained the jump in performance versus cost while comparing 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps rates.

“Whether you're talking about hyper scale, private cloud, or on-premise enterprise computing, data centers are still at the heart of business IT, and I/O is the lifeblood of high performance business applications,” Karvat said. “25 GbE represents a radical improvement in value for the IT manager, enabling higher connectivity densities, a 2.5X increase in performance per link over 10 GbE, and improvement in TCO via lower infrastructure costs compared to 40 GbE. Because of these factors, we expect 25 GbE to change the networking landscape over the next two to three years.”

The product announcement goes further by explaining the link between 25 GbE and 100 GbE. It is the network controller that allows connections of 25 Gbps and can make the leap to 100 Gbps by utilizing four lanes of data traffic at once. The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium, the announcement mentions, has initiated, with the blessing of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the creation of a 25 GbE standard. It is that standard which can create a cost-effective approach to ethernet development by using a single lane of 25 GbE instead of four lanes of 10 GbE to create 40 GbE -- a port speed which the Broadcom and QLogic switch and ethernet controller supports.

With that single lane of traffic and the continued use of copper lines, the investment in the new 25 GbE technology could advance capacity and efficiency for device manufacturers and their end user counterparts. Businesses could, in the end, take advantage of substantially higher speeds at costs that are not out of reach.




Edited by Alisen Downey

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