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Re: [HSSG] 40G and 100G

I support the approach outlined by Mark for how to make progress at the July meeting; specifically to work the details of completing the 5 Criteria for 100G and 40G.


With respect to 100G, all 5 Criteria have been met and out of the July meeting the HSSG should forward a PAR for 100Gbps Ethernet as currently drafted.


We have again seen a challenge to the 100G Broad Market Potential; using the recent argument that 100G does not have Broad Market Potential without 40G. The arithmetic behind this argument is a mystery. End users have stated that 100G is desperately needed today, when the dominant server-switch interconnect is 1G. When 100G starts deployment, it has further been stated that Nx100G LAG configurations will be immediately required for second level switch-switch interconnect. Data centers are only now looking to transition server-switch interconnect to 10G, with the start of 10G high volume ramp projected for the 2009 time frame. End users have stated that when they transition servers to 10G, they will need 1T Ethernet to support the resulting traffic. On the other hand, 40G is projected to start high volume ramp in the 2012 time frame, so it will be a number of years after 2012 that 40G server ports will approach 10G server ports. So any appreciable impact of 40G on 100G demand (outside of leading edge applications like HPC,) is 7 to 10 years out.


With respect to 40G, a separate set of 5 Criteria need to be drafted that meet the requirements of a distinct project. Broad Market Potential, Technical Feasibility and Compatibility have clearly been met. The two criteria that need further work are Distinct Identity and Economic Feasibility. There is no question about 40G having a Distinct Identity; it is simply an issue of crafting the wording to differentiate 40G from 10G, and to differentiate 40G from 100G. The latter is straightforward as the two address different applications (at least initially.)


The 40G Criteria that continues to have genuine disagreement is Economic Feasibility. I am personally persuaded that 40G has meet this criteria, versus for example 4x10G LAG alternative, thanks to Shimon’s, Howard’s and Schelto’s excellent presentations at the May meeting. There are others that remain unconvinced as can be seen from Dan’s recent email. I suggest that the concern of these HSSG participants be taken as genuine (not as a HSSG 40G derailing tactic,) and that through a combination of additional supporting material and good crafting of the wording we convince those that have a concern to support 40G Economic Feasibility. I am confident that they will continue to have an open mind to additional supporting material.


40G advocates should see this as an opportunity, not as a problem. A lot of those who are skeptics are end users, and this gives the future 40G suppliers a forum to start educating their future customers why 40G will offer them benefits over 10G. If this argument can not be made persuasively, there should be genuine concern at server and switch companies (not just at the HSSG) about the viability of these products in the market.


Given the few items that remain to be done, we should be able be able to forward a distinct PAR for 40Gbps Ethernet out of the July meeting.




From: Mark Nowell (mnowell) [mailto:mnowell@CISCO.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [HSSG] Soliciting Support for my Presentation




I have to strongly object to many of your comments and think they are not helpful in the path forward.


I think some perspective is needed to substantiate these comments and your recent attendance has perhaps robbed you of that perspective.


The HSSG was formed nearly a year ago now and has done considerable work trying to define a project.  It is true that the initial focus was on the networking and aggregation applications and many rates and reaches have been debated and discussed.  During these numerous presentations, debates, motions, and straw polls, the process of winnowing down the proposals into a set of objectives and then 5 Criteria responses was happening.  It should be noted that, for this application a number of rates were decided against including 40G, 80G, 120G and I think even 160G was mentioned.


Then, rather late in the process, compared to the progress already made on the networking application, Shimon from Sun pointed out that there was another market/application that wasn't being addressed - the server market and this too needed a higher speed solution with 100G being too high.


Admittedly, there was considerable healthy debate about why alternative technologies couldn't be used (such as LAG).    It is unfortunate that this application was not brought into HSSG clearly until later in the process and you can't expect a major shift like this to happen without debate and discussion so everyone is clear as to the problem statement.  I think this took until the Geneva meeting to happen properly.  I don't think I have ever heard a comment that the server application should not be addressed.


The discussion about bringing two major new Ethernet rates out at the same time, which has never been done before, is a valid one to have and is really the background to many of the questions as market confusion is something we all prefer to avoid if possible.


So rather than continuing an unconstructive mud-slinging activity, I think we all need to look forward.  There is a real need to develop a networking solution @ 100GE.  There is a real need to develop a server interconnect solution @ 40GE.  There is a real need to facilitate the industry's understanding of these two applications. These two applications, as defined, are complementary to one another. 


I'm disappointed to see any suggestion of a 'divide and conquer strategy' or 'strategy of kicking 40GE out of the HSSG and then nipping it in the bud'.  You are the first person I have ever heard suggest that.   I think a path forward can be found which is acceptable for both applications and it was proposed a couple of times during Geneva.  To make it happen though, much offline work needs to happen between now and July.  So I urge everyone to put away their Robert Ludlum spy novels and re-enter the relatively boring engineering world of standards and focus on how to solve a problem.