Big things are made up of small things, and the biggest small thing in the 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) world is a cable. There are millions of cables covering thousands of miles of raised floor space in data centers across the globe. Picking the right cables technology is a key driver of switching choices, data center costs and simplifying the deployment of any networking. As we move forward in the 10GbE market, the move to 10G Base-T and copper CAT-6 cabling for Local Area Network (LAN) on Motherboard (LOM) and Network Interface Card (NIC) connectivity will be a major driver of lowering price per port and moving 10GbE into the volume rack server market.
In the chart above, from Crehan Reseach, you can see that the KX connections tied to blade implementations are growing at a steady rate, but 10G Base-T is expected to grow exponentially. This is a result of the growth of 10GbE LOMs, Daughter card LOMs, NICs and Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) that use traditional copper cables. This growth will help drive the cost points for 10GbE and make that the primary networking interface for new rack and blade computers in shipping ports within a couple of years.
This market transition is built on the simple move to lower-cost 10G Base-T that drives the price per port and volume of adoption. At Emulex, we have been telling folks for the past few years that you have to win the 10GbE NIC business to become the leader in the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and iSCSI markets. Like most things in life, it is the little things that matter and a little connector is going to make a big difference in the I/O market for many years to come.