Figure 1: Original Ethernet Sketch
The technical challenges facing 100GbE have been significant; ranging from developing a whole new generation of optics that can handle 4 lanes of 25Gbps, to simply dealing with normal router and switch functions such as packet inspection, queuing, lookups, filtering and table updates, all in one-tenth the amount of time as with 10GbE. And of course this all has to be done with complete backwards compatibility and meeting all expectations with respect to bit error rate, latency, jitter and the like. As expected 40GbE gained some level of market acceptance first, but some 5 years after ratification the time for 100 Gigabit Ethernet is now!
This whitepaper will discuss the evolution of 100GbE technology in the service provider and data center markets and provide insights in to how network application acceleration hardware can be leveraged to maximize performance and efficiency in emerging 100GbE network appliances.