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NANOG Meeting Presentation Abstract

GBIC Interface Standards Support in the Telecommunications Industry
Meeting: NANOG29
Date / Time: 2003-10-21 11:00am - 11:30am
Room: Salons A-E
Presenters: Speakers:

Dave Wodelet, Shaw Communications

Dave Wodelet is the Chief Network Architect for Shaw Communications. He is responsible for IP backbone architecture and deployment throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.
Abstract: There has been quite a disturbing development in the telecommunications industry during the past few months. More and more vendors seem to be abandoning the use of standard gigabit interface converters (GBICs). The GBIC interface standards were developed to allow mass production, greater quality control, and lower cost interfaces for a wide range of multi-vendor telecommunications equipment. The success of the existing GBIC deployment indicates this has worked very well to date. Basically, all of the mainstream network equipment vendors don\'t even make their own GBICs. They simply re-market a standard GBIC produced by one of the handful of GBIC manufacturers. Mixing and matching of these standardized GBICs between multi-vendor equipment is prevalent in the industry today.

However, the new smaller form factor SFP GBICs have introduced a new \"Vendor ID\" field on the EPROM. Some mainstream equipment vendors are now starting to use this field to ensure that only the GBICs they re-sell are used in their network equipment. If another GBIC is used, the GBIC port will be disabled even though the GBIC you insert is identical (from the same OEM and production run) as the GBIC that is being re-marketed by the equipment vendor. This has potentially huge cost and support issues for our industry. This is especially true if equipment vendors decide not to grandfather the unrestricted use of the older existing GBICs -- which at least one vendor is planning.

This talk presents a brief history and summarizes the current state of GBICs, and the GBIC standard, in the industry.
Files: pdfDave Wodelet Presentation(PDF)
youtubeGBIC Interface Standards Support in the Telecommunications Industry
Sponsors: None.

Back to NANOG29 agenda.

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