The next major milestone in the history of Ethernet is anticipated for June 17. This is the date that the expected ratification of the 40Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet standard is set to occur, thus ending the industry’s four-and-a-half year journey to move Ethernet beyond its current highest speed of 10Gb/s.
As some may know, early on in that journey the effort faced a serious dilemma, as the then- "Study Group" had to decide whether it wanted to add the 40 Gb/s date rate to the project objectives. From the outside looking in, many questioned if there was an issue with the standards process, rather than considering that the debate actually reflected discussions that were occurring within the industry.
Looking back, many were disappointed that four years after the 10 Gigabit Ethernet was released, it had not yet shipped a million ports. Instead, these individuals looked at the near 200 million ports that Gigabit Ethernet had shipped in that same time frame. The conversation became one where the success of 10 Gigabit Ethernet was judged by individuals either by its value or the volume shipped with some losing sight of the role that 10 Gigabit Ethernet played in providing scalable networks that enabled the shipment of approximate 200 million ports of Gigabit Ethernet.