Wired speed falling behind?

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Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:19 pm

Well there was a post on the front page awhile ago, which ended up going into how wired speeds have not improved in quite a long time. Taking into account the rate they ramped up from 10 to 100 and 100 to 1gbit, they stagnated at 1gbit, with there being no entry level 10gbit gear for home users.

As a testament to this, wireless speeds have caught up to wired speeds for the home users and then some with 802.11ac. I'm not entirely sure what they deal is here. Usually companies introduce high end SOHO equipment so enterprise equipment starts to trickle down and become mainstream, but there is nothing like that for home users. Wireless on the other hand always had semi-expensive equipment that ramped up to the full speeds of the specifications. They were in the $150 range, but you could still buy them, compared to a $40 router that is good enough. The cheapest 10 gigabit switch on Newegg for instance is $2300 and that's just for a single port...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... it&x=0&y=0

I'm not entirely sure if the 900Mb/s wireless devices on Newegg tie into the 802.11ac standard or not. Considering 600Mb/s is supposed to be the maximum for 802.11n.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:49 pm

Wireless ethernet has taken over home networking. It is pretty simple why, you don't have to mess with wires, drilling extra outlets etc. It yields sufficent bandwidth for practically all home networking needs. Mainstream users have move to mobile platforms which work far better with a wireless connection. Security isn't mission-critical here, if you are worry about identify theft, leaks from your wireless ethernet are hardly at the top of the list.

If need to go wired. Gigabit ethernet is fast enough for home networking and small business needs. If you have a genuine need for more bandwidth, chances are good that you running some kind of business operation that closely resembles what is norm for datacenters and internet hosting providers. The price tag for 10Gigabit equipment and beyond aren't so outlandish for this crowd.

Besides, you have alternates that make more sense for the local environment for when dealing with external devices that have demands for high bandwidth: eSATA, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt/Lightning Bolt.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:55 am

I think there are a number of factors at work here...

1. Gigabit is a reasonable match (within a factor of 2) for the sustained transfer rate of current commodity mass storage devices. For moving files between PCs, it's not enough of a bottleneck to matter to the majority of users.

2. As Krogoth points out, speed of wireless is improving, and is now "good enough" for most people. The convenience of not needing to run wires is enough of a plus that people are willing to put up with slower speeds.

3. Everything's moving into "the cloud", so having a LAN that's faster than your broadband connection doesn't materially improve the end user experience in many cases.

4. Making the next jump in speed has been technically challenging, which -- when combined with lack of consumer demand -- has kept the price of equipment high, since it remains a niche product.

What does a typical consumer -- or even a "power user" -- do that could benefit significantly from faster wired network speeds? Commodity 10 Gb Ethernet is currently a solution in search of a problem...
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:49 am

JBI's first point is the big one - what are you going to driver more than GigE with?

Even GigE took a long time to come down to commodity pricing levels, you can get 10GigE now but it will cost you. I was actually part of the worlds first 100GigE demo http://www.cedmagazine.com/news/2008/06 ... with-cisco back in 2008, 400GigE is being worked on these days.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:08 am

I really do like having gigabit ethernet in my home to transfer between a USB drive connected to the router as NAS and my PC, but it's just that: a USB drive. I don't come close to saturating a single gigabit connection, let alone 10gbit.

There may be a point that we need an entry-level 10gbit connection, but that time is not now. It'll come down eventually if it's necessary, but I'm cool with 1gbit and 802.11n.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:35 am

Another thing to consider is that for the most part the speed claims of wifi networks are fiction, or at least aren't what many home users think they are. Since wifi is so popular with home users the lads in Marketing have made sure the numbers on the box are as big as possible... after all bigger is better isn't it?

It might be possible to get your PC to say it's connected at 900Mb or whatever the equipment is rated at but the actual throughput will be much lower and as soon as you move more then 10' from the AP, get a bit of interference, have a couple of walls in the way or have several other devices using the wireless at the same time the speeds will nosedive. While with a wired network it really is possible to get throughput close to 1Gb much of the time.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:25 am

Wifi connections are also half duplex while wired connections are full duplex.

This may have been fixed with 802.11n using dual bands, but I haven't checked.

I still use 802.11g for my home network, and I have no plans to upgrade. (Mainly because I really like Tomato firmware, and I'd probably want to move to pfSense as a replacement.)
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:30 am

cheesyking wrote:Another thing to consider is that for the most part the speed claims of wifi networks are fiction, or at least aren't what many home users think they are.

I've also noticed that the reported signal strength generally has very little to do with the speed or reliability of the connection...
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:39 am

just brew it! wrote:What does a typical consumer -- or even a "power user" -- do that could benefit significantly from faster wired network speeds? Commodity 10 Gb Ethernet is currently a solution in search of a problem...

The 8TB array in my server is being throttled by GbE. My SSDs are being throttled by GbE. GbE does not cut it anymore for my usage patterns.

In the world of 500 MB/s drives GbE is just too damn slow.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:12 pm

End User wrote:The 8TB array in my server is being throttled by GbE. My SSDs are being throttled by GbE. GbE does not cut it anymore for my usage patterns.

In the world of 500 MB/s drives GbE is just too damn slow.


Sounds like you may have the budget for some 10gb gear. If it's really that big of a problem for you, upgrade.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:05 pm

GigE is per port, its also bidirectional.
So if you have 4 computers, each have 1000 MBits of bandwith over long distance in both direction, throught any number of thick walls.

With a '900mbps' routed the bandwidth is shared per connection (well, multiband, so its more like 450mbps * 2) and per direction and its greatly, greatly affected by distance and obstruction/interference.

So place the c4 clients a few room away from the router and the bandwidth can drop by 10x, and is shared, and is unidirectional.

In heavy traffic in this scenario, you might get effective ~40MBPS per client (If you are not to far and your walls are thin) VS 2000MBPS per client on a cheap GigE network.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:16 pm

dextrous wrote:
End User wrote:The 8TB array in my server is being throttled by GbE. My SSDs are being throttled by GbE. GbE does not cut it anymore for my usage patterns.

In the world of 500 MB/s drives GbE is just too damn slow.


Sounds like you may have the budget for some 10gb gear. If it's really that big of a problem for you, upgrade.

A tad pricey at the moment:
http://goo.gl/NdqYu http://goo.gl/UE8YH
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:41 pm

End User wrote:
dextrous wrote:
End User wrote:The 8TB array in my server is being throttled by GbE. My SSDs are being throttled by GbE. GbE does not cut it anymore for my usage patterns.

In the world of 500 MB/s drives GbE is just too damn slow.

Sounds like you may have the budget for some 10gb gear. If it's really that big of a problem for you, upgrade.

A tad pricey at the moment:
http://goo.gl/NdqYu http://goo.gl/UE8YH

Well... presumably you don't really need 10 Gb connectivity to *all* of your systems? Maybe a pair of 10 Gb NICs for a point-to-point link between the server and your workstation would be a viable option? Still fairly pricey, but at least you don't need the $8K switch.

(Can 10 Gb be used point-to=point? I guess I don't actually know...)
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:44 pm

Out of curiosity, what are you guys doing that 1Gb isn't "enough"? Large companies run all sorts of stuff over 1Gb networks (some even at 100Mb, still) and don't see issues.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:24 pm

Isn't there such a thing as teaming numerous gigabit connections together, granted it's not with consumer level equipment typically, but I do believe there are some steps between 1gb and 10gb with a commensurate price increase. So, OK, you're saturating 1gb between your server array and SSD, but would you be OK with 2gb or 4gb?

Besides that, what are you actually doing that uses that bandwidth other than just moving large quantities of files? I've edited HD video over a 1gig connection and I don't know that bandwidth was really the constraining factor - it was more like CPU power and latency as network utilization was down in single digit percentages.

That being said, my gig switch died last year and I was stuck at 100mbit for about a week and that did make any kind of file work painfully slow. But transferring files, even decently large ones over a gig network? Usually pretty bearable for me - and faster from start to finish than, say, using an esata drive that might be 25-50% faster in terms of raw transfer rate, but over the network is just so convenient.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:40 pm

End User wrote:The 8TB array in my server is being throttled by GbE. My SSDs are being throttled by GbE. GbE does not cut it anymore for my usage patterns. In the world of 500 MB/s drives GbE is just too damn slow.


Are you sure GigE is the problem and not something else?

If you're pretty sure, you might want to look into EtherChannel and Linux.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EtherChannel

EtherChannel will let you bond multiple ports on a switch into one big pipe which will give you more throughput. You'll have to buy Cisco equipment, but good network hardware is worth it's weight in gold.

Windows is almost useless when copying stuff over a network. (I ran tests because one user was whining about it, and it's performance is pathetic in comparison.) When I need to copy large amounts of data at work, I use my Linux box. It usually goes Windows -> Linux -> Linux, Windows, or Whatever.

spitfire650 wrote:Out of curiosity, what are you guys doing that 1Gb isn't "enough"? Large companies run all sorts of stuff over 1Gb networks (some even at 100Mb, still) and don't see issues.


Presumably lots of "enterprise" level stuff like running VMs off an NFS or iSCSI mount.

Normal end users don't need that much bandwidth as a 100-500MB files are the exception rather then the rule. For instance, a MS service pack is the biggest thing most normal people will encounter. DVD ISO images are the biggest thing I encounter on a regular basis.

Once you get into the guts of the system -- backups, storage, replication, VMs --, more is better.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:46 pm

frumper15 wrote:Isn't there such a thing as teaming numerous gigabit connections together, granted it's not with consumer level equipment typically, but I do believe there are some steps between 1gb and 10gb with a commensurate price increase. So, OK, you're saturating 1gb between your server array and SSD, but would you be OK with 2gb or 4gb?


Pretty much any Intel discrete NIC would have it(for Windows, which doesn't have native OS support for it), and I think it's pretty standard on even small-business Cisco switches.

EDIT: Ah! Flatland_spider got there first.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:53 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:EtherChannel will let you bond multiple ports on a switch into one big pipe which will give you more throughput. You'll have to buy Cisco equipment, but good network hardware is worth it's weight in gold.

Recent Linux kernels apparently have built-in support for network interface bonding. So if the machines at both ends are running Linux you can probably do it with commodity gigabit cards and switches...
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:(Can 10 Gb be used point-to=point? I guess I don't actually know...)


Crossover cable, sure.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:06 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:Are you sure GigE is the problem and not something else?

GbE maxes out at roughly 100 MB/s.

Link aggregation is a good idea (I've got 4 bonded NICs in the server). Unfortunately my network is covers a large area. It is comprised of two zones that are joined together by a single GbE connection (the bottleneck).
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:20 pm

End User wrote:A tad pricey at the moment:
http://goo.gl/NdqYu http://goo.gl/UE8YH


If you only need 10 Gb on one or two systems and 1Gb on everything else, there are some reasonable alternatives like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833120421

Flatland_Spider wrote:So if the machines at both ends are running Linux you can probably do it with commodity gigabit cards and switches...


Commodity switches probably don't support 802.3ad which is really what you need for bonding. Most enterprise NICs will have a bonding driver for Windows Server OSes. Still, there are some pretty reasonable multi-port GigE NICs (example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833106049) that can be used with a relatively cheap switch like a Cisco 2960 (like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833120500) to get a 4gb link via etherchannel.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:22 pm

End User wrote:Link aggregation is a good idea (I've got 4 bonded NICs in the server). Unfortunately my network is covers a large area. It is comprised of two zones that are joined together by a single GbE connection (the bottleneck).


If you have some spare switch ports and spare existing fiber between the two switches, a switch-to-switch etherchannel is easy to do.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 am

Ryu Connor wrote:
just brew it! wrote:(Can 10 Gb be used point-to=point? I guess I don't actually know...)


Crossover cable, sure.

Not necessary with GigE and above. The software stack is able to auto-negotiate Tx/Rx pairs on each end so you no longer need a crossover cable.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:46 pm

End User wrote:Unfortunately my network is covers a large area. It is comprised of two zones that are joined together by a single GbE connection (the bottleneck).


Ah. Yeah, that will bottleneck things. Is this for your house or work?

Newegg has a Netgear GS752TXS-100NAS for $1,500. It has 48 8p8c GigE ports with 4 SFP+ 10 GigE ports for uplinks, and it supports link aggregation.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833122436
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Krogoth wrote:If need to go wired. Gigabit ethernet is fast enough for home networking and small business needs. If you have a genuine need for more bandwidth, chances are good that you running some kind of business operation that closely resembles what is norm for datacenters and internet hosting providers. The price tag for 10Gigabit equipment and beyond aren't so outlandish for this crowd.


This.

There just isn't any practical reason for a home user to want to upgrade from a Gigabit line, so there really isn't any demand for it. The same will prove true for wireless.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:25 am

Transfers... SSDs saturate GigE easily. This is a superfluous argument though. I'm not comparing technologies that are currently available, rather comparing the speeds of advancement. Wireless has been rocketing forward, where as GB has stagnated almost completely. Case and point is that there isn't entry level equipment into GigE at all. You literally need to pay the same price as enterprises, that isn't affordable by any means unless you buy used equipment off of eBay.

If there is a need for more speed locally, then the same could be said about a intranet.

Good enough is highly subjective. As someone else said, 802.11g was good enough for him, yet 802.11n is being gobbled up and now 802.11ac. (I'd argue the guy with 802.11g hasn't tried streaming a 720p or 1080p files over his g network though.) Routers are even already available with it and it's backwards compatible with 802.11n. If I'm reading the page right, it supports speeds up to 6.93Gb/s with mimo.

802.11n wireless is bi-directional technically speaking using mimo (which is teaming between antennas).

I sorta think Krogoth might've been on the mark with his first comment though. Wireless has taken over home networking... people don't want to drill holes or go through the pain of running wires, especially for john doe. So there is a bigger demand for wireless technology in a SOHO environment and they're improving it as such. The market for wired SOHO equipment must just be smaller now then it used to be. That said, no companies are even offering SOHO versions of 10GigE so they can't even see if there is a market for it.

Also keep in mind, data sizes have grown since Gigabit has been introduced into the home. Files users used to move around used to be a lot smaller. Relatively speaking, gigabit has decreased in speed as the amount of data it has to move has increased (time it takes to deliver it), which is starting to edge on 100Mb before 1Gb was introduced.

Networking in general doesn't have a big enough spotlight IMO. People still seem oblivious to the whole idea of attaching another computer to their network and using it for backups, storage, unmanaged aps (p2p), or as HTPC. Instead online cloud systems are being pushed hardcore, even though you can do that at home for free in less time and you don't need to deal with bandwidth caps. I'm sure this will probably change in the future when users start bumping into their caps as they start using more cloud based services though. For instance, one computer death and users have to resort to restoring from a online backup, that can easily suck up a 150GB cap and then some, especially considering HDs that break into the TB mark.


Honestly 'good enough' is such a stupid way to look at things in life that stifles innovation and leads to lethargy. There isn't even a real antonym to innovation, tradition was the closest thing. I had to look it up... This is just my humble opinion though.
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Re: Wired speed falling behind?

Postposted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:59 am

Most things that arent pure data transfer of large amounts like backup's, etc can often be compressed a some extend. Look at media sharing. You have a bitrate, and the stream is usually decompressed at the end point instead of transfering uncompressed. If you look at what the DVI and DP bandwidth are, they use a lot more than gigabit can transfer.

But I think things like that wont go over the network, but rather over things like DP, lightpeak, etc that cater to specialized needs. The normal home market doesnt need more than gig at the most, and often just enough so they can consumer whatever data they want in a timely manner, video, music, some documents.

I personally have a 8TB raid 5 array in my server and an SSD and velociraptor in my workstation, and while both server and workstation can transfer more, gigabit is actually enough for most things. Even relatively uncompressed fraps recordings can be played over the network, if not recorded over the network. Video work can also be a drag. Photography work with lightroom works just fine over gigabit. I wonder how these things would work over wireless. But I've seen to my needs for wireless mostly as a media consumer thing and some comfort-thing for iPhone, a few laptops, etc.
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