Cabling vendor Systimax has unveiled plans to ship unshielded twisted pair copper cabling for 10Gb Ethernet by the third quarter of this year.
Copper cabling capable of handling 10Gbps over reasonable distances is seen by VARs as a way of driving acceptance of 10Gb Ethernet into smaller organisations, the firm claimed.
While Foundry and Cisco have pushed down the cost of 10Gb backbones with cheaper products, most 10Gb customers are service providers and large organisations such as universities. However, some in the industry have claimed 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet are more a case of vendor push than customer demand.
"We had the same vendor-driven questions with Gigabit Ethernet a few years ago," said John McCarthy, northern Europe managing director at Systimax. "Before that, it was 100Mb Ethernet. But user demand keeps going up."
A number of vendors, including 3Com and Cisco, have produced short-range proprietary copper offerings for connections in the data centre. While a standard for 10GBASE-T is some way off, Systimax has said its offering will be designed to meet the emerging standard.
Matias Peluffo, global technical director at Systimax, said: "I expect it will take a further six months for the IEEE Task Force to firm up the requirements for 10Gb."
John Crowe, director at cabling consultancy Stoneleigh, which specialises in the networking healthcare market, said 10Gb is unlikely to be a hit in the short term but has good long-term prospects.
He said: "3Com's XRM system is a proprietary 10Gb connection for connecting switches over short distances. The problem with offerings such as this is they don't really meet the demands of big campuses.
"We can install fibre connections, but copper is really easy to install. And people seem reluctant to put in fibre; they seem to feel they don't own it."
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