Market Report - Gigabit Networks:A Gigabit Ethernet Market Study

Market Studies
Gigabit Networks:
A Gigabit Ethernet Market Study

Published: February 2000

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Gigabit Ethernet is Hot the Gigabit Ethernet industry has exploded since the IEEE 802.3z standard was unanimously approved and ratified by the IEEE Standards Board on June 25, 1998. The ratification of the Gigabit Ethernet standard, and interoperability testing among vendor products has sparked user confidence in Gigabit Ethernet products. Customer shipments of Gigabit Ethernet products, which began in 2Q97, are exploding with revenues of almost $2 billion for 1999 and forecasts of about $3 billion for the year 2000. Strong sales have exceeded initial forecasts, indicating user confidence in the technology and demand for large bandwidth. Gigabit Ethernet products are readily available from Gigabit Ethernet vendors and have been snapped up by users who have been deploying Gigabit Ethernet products to upgrade their networks over the past year (Updated Quarterly)

Gigabit Ethernet overshadows ATM Ethernet bandwidth is swiftly closing in on ATM bandwidth. Full-duplex Gigabit Ethernet is equivalent to OC-48 at 2.5 Gbps at a small fraction of ATM=s cost. The next jump to 10 Gbps, proposed by the IEEE, will allow Gigabit Ethernet to catch up to ATM at OC-192. The 802.3 Higher Speed Study Group was formed in March 1999 to investigate and evaluate methods to expand Ethernet technology to 10 Gbps. Once thought to be non-scalable, Ethernet is expected to match ATM bandwidth within the next few years.Gigabit Networks succinctly points out the benefits and limitations of ATM and Gigabit Ethernet and assesses these technologies with respect to the applications best served by each.

Extended fiber cable distanceThe gigabit industry is stretching maximum fiber cable distances to 70 km (43.5 miles) or more with high-power laser optics and single mode fiber to address long-haul fiber cable applications that include networked MANs and Alast mile@ connections between enterprise networks and MANs. The ratified IEEE 802.3z standard extends the maximum cable distance for the long wavelength 1000Base-LX interface standard for single mode fiber from 3 to 5 kilometers (1.8 to 3 miles), but this is not adequate to satisfy long distance applications. A new standard is needed for long-haul fiber cable applications using high-power laser technology.

Emerging applications now that Gigabit Ethernet technology is providing the needed bandwidth for enterprise networks, new applications for Gigabit Ethernet are emerging: optical networks that will interconnect MANs and MANs that will provide high-speed services to private networks. These new applications promise even greater revenues for the Gigabit Ethernet industry over the next several years.

Copper interface availability the 1000Base-T copper interface standard, ratified in June 1999, is being implemented by a growing number of vendors who offer copper interface network interface cards (NICs) and switch ports that comply with the 1000Base-T standard. This standard will benefit users with Category 5 UTP cable infrastructures by eliminating the added cost of fiber cabling for servers, workstations, and other applications.Gigabit Networks addresses the copper 1000Base-T interface standard. It clearly explains it in detail and addresses copper applications. It also addresses potential problems for copper cable running at gigabit rates

Upgradability Gigabit Ethernet technology offers high performance and congestion-free connections for enterprise networks, MANs, and WANs. It complies with the Ethernet packet format and provides an easy and economic upgrade from existing Ethernet or Fast Ethernet network configurations. The migration from Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and FDDI to Gigabit Ethernet backbones and server links can be easily and economically performed.

Industry metamorphosis the Gigabit Ethernet industry has undergone considerable change over the past few years with acquisitions of start-up companies by leading networking and telecommunication companies. These acquisitions have stabilized and strengthened this maturing industry, whose products are readily available along with strong service and technical support for its customers. High volume production and strong competition among vendors is driving down pricing, making Gigabit Ethernet more affordable.

Gigabit Networks addresses vendor acquisitions within the Gigabit Ethernet industry since its inception.

A broad spectrum of vital information Gigabit Networks focuses on all aspects of Gigabit Ethernet technology, including technology specifications, cabling, standards, tradeoffs between ATM and Gigabit Ethernet, migration strategy, and products from all prominent vendors, including: Gigabit Ethernet switches, NICs, test equipment, and semiconductor integrated circuit.

It clarifies Gigabit Ethernet technology- its proposed solutions for specific applications, its development and implementation, its benefits and limitations, and more. It identifies the industry vendors, defines their market strategy and focus, and describes their products in detail and application focus through vendor/product profiles. The study presents a critical assessment of Gigabit Ethernet technology with respect to ATM.Gigabit Networks addresses Gigabit Ethernet vendors and their products with comprehensive, analytical product reports and detailed product pricing. The characteristics of Gigabit Ethernet switches, NICs, and test equipment from all Gigabit Ethernet vendors are presented in tables with pricing for ease of comparison.

Information critical to needs Prospective investors and developers of Gigabit Ethernet technology should be cognizant of the facts presented in this report before they make a significant investment decision. Gigabit Networks is a must for Gigabit Ethernet and ATM vendors who need to be comprised of the competition and the strengths and limitations of competitive products. It provides substantial savings by eliminating the cost of information gathering.

Both prospective investors and developers of Gigabit Ethernet technology must be adequately informed about all aspects of the technology to insure they make the right investment. Current information is critical to network design and planning; product design and development, and product investments.

The information contained in this report is vital to:

  • Presidents and CEOs
    CIOs and CFOs
  • Network managers and administrators
    Network software
    and applications developers
  • Network equipment makers
  • Investors and venture capitalists
  • Strategic and long range planners
  • Network equipment vendors
    copper and fiber cable
  • Manufacturers & Equipment distributors

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Mature Gigabit Ethernet Market
  • Major Drawing Card
  • Stronger Market
  • Gigabit Applications and Cabling
  • Revenue Forcast
  • Copper Gigabit Interface
  • Gigabit Ethernet Scales Ethernet Technology
  • Gigabit Applications and Cabling
  • Standards Status
  • Gigabit Problems and Solutions
  • Quality of Service
  • Gigabit Ethernet vs ATM
  • ATM vs Gigabit Ethernet

1.0 Introduction

  • History of Ethernet
  • Evolution of Fast Ethernet
  • Evolution of Gigabit Ethernet
  • Gigabit Ethernet vs ATM.

2.0 Technology Overview

  • Ethernet Overview
  • Fast Ethernet Overview
  • Gigabit Ethernet Introduction
  • Fibre Channel
  • Gigabit Ethernet Physical Layer
  • 8B/10B Encoding
  • Full/Half Duplex Operation
  • Carrier Extension
  • Packet Bursting
  • Quality of Service
  • Flow Control
  • Packet Priority
  • Packet Tagging

3.0 Cabling

  • Plastic Optical Fiber
  • Twisted Pair Cabling
  • Fiber Optic Cable

4.0 Standards

  • IEEE
  • The IEEE 802.3z Standard
  • The IEEE 802.3x Standard
  • The IEEE 802.3ab Standard
  • The IEEE 802.1p and 802.1Q Standards

5.0 Consortiums

  • Fibre Channel Association
  • Gigabit Ethernet Alliance

6.0 Migration Strategy

  • Backbone Migration
  • FDDI Backbone Migration
  • Server Migration Strategy
  • Workgroup Migration Strategy
  • Desktop Migration Strategy

7.0 Viability of Applications

  • Large File Transfers
  • Mulimedia Applications
  • Desktop Video

8.0 Market Drivers

  • The Computer Industry
  • Network Congestion
  • Bandwidth Consuming Applications
  • Major Driving Forces

9.0 Obstacles to Growth

  • Standards
  • Cost to Upgrade
  • Cost- ATM vs Gigabit Ethernet
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • ATM Competition

10.0 ATM vs Gigabit Ethernet

  • Contending Technologies
  • Gigabit Ethernet Highlights
  • ATM Overview
  • ATM Classes of Service
  • ATM Product Availability7
  • ATM Standards
  • Gigabit Solutions
  • ATM Solutions
  • ATM vs Gigabit Ethernet Assessment

11.0 Market Forecast

  • Penetration
  • Revenue Forecast

12.0 Gigabit Ethernet Components

  • Network Interface Cards
  • Switches and Routing Switches
  • Buffered Repeaters
  • Uplink Modules
  • Cabling
  • Test Equipment
  • Semiconductor Components

13.0 Vendor/Product Profiles

  • 3Com Corporation
  • Alcatel Internetworking
  • Alteon WebSystems
  • Anritsu Company
  • Cabletron Systems
  • Cisco Systems
  • Compaq Corporation
  • Extreme Networks
  • Foundry Networks
  • Hewlet-Packard
  • Intel Corporation
  • LSI Logic
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Marconi Communications
  • NBase-Xyplex
  • Nortel Networks
  • ODS Networks
  • Performance Technologies
  • PMC-Sierra
  • SEEQ
  • Vertex Networks
  • Vitesse
  • VLSI
  • XaQti

    14.0 Strategies for Success
  • Standards Compliance
  • Interoperability
  • Quality of Service
  • The ATM Market
  • Chip Suppliers
  • Cable Manufacturers
  • Equipment Manufacturers