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This paper takes a look at the main forces that are driving Ethernet bandwidth upwards. It looks at the standards and architectural practices adopted by the different segments, how the different speeds of Ethernet are used and how its popularity has resulted in an ecosystem spanning data centers, carrier networks, enterprise networks, and consumers. There are many reasons driving the need for higher bandwidth Ethernet, however, the main reason is their insatiable appetite for content. The definition of content in itself has evolved over time - where once the majority of traffic on an Ethernet network may have been occasional file transfers, emails and the like, today technology is allowing us to push and receive richer content such as voice, video and high definition multimedia.
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