Asim Rasheed
Ixia Product Management

The Next Ethernet Land Grab: Are You in the Race?

July 29, 2016 by Asim Rasheed

The hot word du jour in networking these days is 25 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). Starting with data centers, this technology is fast supplanting 10GbE as the de-facto data center Ethernet technology.

How does it work?

25GbE uses single-lane 25Gbps link protocol that leverages existing 100GbE technology. What this means is that it delivers 2.5 times more performance compared to 10GbE, while at the same time providing a higher port density and lower cost per bit when compared to 40GbE.

Additionally, 25GbE can be more easily aggregated to get 100GbE.

You might be thinking, “Asim, this 25GbE talk is all fine and dandy, but why should I care?”

To answer this, let’s assume we are building a new switch that has 32 ports of 100GbE. Following is a comparison of the resultant 40GbE and 25GbE ports that can be achieved.


As the numbers show, 25GbE allows for not only more servers to be connected to the switch, but also a 100% utilization of the available bandwidth!

This results in significant saving in terms of both the cost of operating data centers and networks, but also savings in terms of money spent on fewer cables and less network hardware. The cost savings alone can be in the millions of dollars.

But while you are keeping all that money in your pocket, you get to have a 2.5-times better performance compared to 10GbE. So you can have your cake and eat it too!

But that’s not all. The icing on that cake is that since 25GbE is based on a single 25Gbps lane technology, it can be used to easily come up with 50GbE and 100GbE solutions.


Ixia’s Xcellon-Multis 25/50/100GbE and Novus 25/100GbE test solutions have been helping network pioneers—be they network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), service providers, or enterprises—since the early days of 25GbE, and is now considered a leader in validating 25GbE.

No technology, no matter how great, can thrive in a vacuum. NEMs, storage solution providers, server manufacturers, security gear makers that aim to protect all this infrastructure, and test and validation vendors like Ixia make up this whole eco-system.

The 2550100 Alliance is a community of network industry companies working together to bring innovative solutions based on 25, 50, and 100GbE to the market.

If you want to read more about 25GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE technology space and how to test it, Ixia has published multiple reference architectures here​​​​.