Pythagoras is said to have claimed that “choices are the hinges of destiny.” I don’t know about destiny, but in the data center world, you definitely want to have multiple options to choose from. They can help tailor a solution to your specific situation, which is especially important if you’re upgrading to higher speed links.
Ethernet switches with multi-rate 40G/100G ports provide flexibility for such scenarios. What if you’re upgrading your switches now, but can’t upgrade the servers until later? Maybe the servers are not available yet, or maybe you’re not getting the entire budget right away.
With 40G/100G ports on your top-of-rack switch, you can use 4x10G breakout cables to connect your existing 10G servers. Then, when you upgrade the servers to 25G, all you have to do is replace the 4x10G breakouts with 4x25G breakouts. Pretty easy, isn’t it?
Or, if you replace your leaf switches and spine switches at different times, dual-rate ports allow you to upgrade each side separately.
The video below illustrates how this can work.