Monday, 2 February 2015

Multigigabit (mGIG) - NBASE-T – IEEE 802.3bz - 2.5 and 5 Gigabits per second over 100m of Cat 5e cable.

Pre standards alliance of companies have created NBASE-T, it can increase network speeds of existing Cat 5e/Cat 6 cables up to 5 Gbps at lengths up to 100m. It seems to have now been resently pickup by the IEEE IEEE 802.3 Next Generation Enterprise Access BASE-T PHY Study Group

Cisco multigigabit will be supported on... (as of 02/02/2015)
Cisco Catalyst 4500
Cisco Catalyst 3850
Cisco Catalyst 3560-CX and possibly the 2960-CX?

Cisco Catalyst 4500 current apparent caveats
“The Cisco Catalyst 4500 product family supports the technology with a new 48-port line card that supports 12 multigigabit switch ports. All the ports, including the multigigabit ports, support POE, POE+, and UPOE. Furthermore, line cards offer significant investment protection by supporting the new multigigabit technology on both types of Cisco Supervisor Engines - Supervisor 7 and Supervisor 8.”

It has been driven by the up coming 802.11ac Wave 2 where the use of extended 5G range will allow for speeds wireless speeds greater than 1 Gigabit.  With AP's currently cabled with CAT5e/6 the cabling back to the NER would become the bottle neck, the cost of upgrading this cable to CAT6a/7 would slow adoption for sure.

What I cant find is a Server/Workstation NIC that will support this technology at this time?  I can see a demand for this with from our power workstation users, as even with port channels of bonded at 1 Gigabit the links limit the flows to the individual channel that flow takes. The cost of replacing floor plate copper is mostly prohibitive at this time this could provide an acceptable compromise if the tech does migrate beyond it current exclusive use for networking hardware?  

Other useful links.....

If you know of any NIC vendors that are planning to support please comment below!

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