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Many of today's data centers are running 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) over both optical fiber and balanced twisted-pair copper cabling in their backbone infrastructure where large numbers of gigabit links aggregate at core devices. As more edge devices; like servers and storage equipment, continue to move to 10 GbE, the next natural progression is for the network core to require even faster connections within the data center. Fortunately, there is a solution that is now an imminent reality. Standards have been in development since 2008, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) will soon release the 802.3ba standard that will support data rates for 40 and 100 GbE over optical fiber cabling.
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