Cisco Nexus 9316D Switch
Cisco Nexus 9316D Switch

It seems that a lot of corporate networks are now being provisioned increasingly with 100 gigabit, 200 gigabit and 400 gigabit Ethernet connections. Sales of slower speeds have fallen sharply. 400 gigabit speeds can reach 80 km so its ideal for campus and urban networking. 100 gigabit hardware is now very affordable but 200 gigabit prices are now easing while 400 gigabit is still rather capital intensive.

It is hard to imagine it, but the advent of 800 gigabit , 1.6 terabit, and 3.2 terabit ports is going to keep pushing those costs down and down and down, and it won’t be long before the cost per gigabit of bandwidth will be on the order of maybe 25 cents to 30 cents. Formally called 800GBASE-R, the standard is primarily based on the existing 400 GbE logic, as this would ensure fewer changes are necessary to get the new standard up and running. But it also brings a new media access control (MAC) and Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS).

The Cisco Nexus 400 GbE 16-port switch costing upwards of $11,000, we don’t expect 800GbE to come cheap. The unit shown needs 450W of power to handle 16-port at 400GBASE-KR4. Larger models with 32-port and 48-port are available for those who need the highest performance.

Cisco has some 45.4% of the market at present while Huawei has 10.7% and Arista has 7.3% of the US market. Smaller players make up the rest of the market. Cisco has spent a lot of cash developing new switches which they sell to ISPs and data centers alike.

Wide area networking has also had lots of improvements with fiber needing no repeaters for 4,000 km runs makes transocean cables popular. Work to reach 100 terabit speeds has been achieved and new experiments are bumping the speeds to new records.