Is USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 likely to be in your future virtualization home lab?

Posted by Paul Braren on Jun 2 2015 in
  • Storage
  • Virtualization
  • Thunderbolt3versatility

    There's a lot of reasons you'll want to think about your future home lab. Part of looking ahead means researching evolving standards. Recently, Intel pulled a bit of a surprise on the world. Read all about it in this excellent piece by Sam Byford at The Verge:

    USB-C has already won: One reversible cable to rule them all

    soon enough you won’t want to buy a computer without it.

    As you read through this, you'll see there's a high likelihood for confusion among the standards, especially when it comes to logos and cables. I hope that doesn't do damage to the speed of the rollout.

    What really stands out in the article for me is the Thunderbolt 3, and the daisy chaining. Yeah, Intel is adopting the USB-C connector for their Thunderbolt 3, in addition to all that Apple and Google love the standard has already earned. That's some pretty strong street cred for that newish USB-C standard. Note that the USB 3.1 speeds of 10Gbps is what we're talking about here, over the USB-C physical connector. Or up to 40Gbps for Thunderbolt 3. Oh, and DisplayPort 1.2 jammed in there too, for good measure.


    So whether we're talking about your workstation with 2 60 Hz 4K displays (yep, USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 can do that), or your ESXi 6.x server (yep, Thunderbolt can do that, see virtuallyGhetto articles), you'll likely be coming across this connector soon enough.

    Too bad USB-C isn't in the extremely promising Intel Xeon D-1500 systems that are now beginning to ship now. But hey, ain't that what the PCI Express slot is for? I mean c'mon, it has every other server interface you could possibly hope for.


    Let's hope reasonably priced PCIe cards with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ship reasonably soon. Should be an interesting transition, and potentially a whole lot simpler for docking them laptops.

    See also:


    June 8 2015 Update

    June 10 2015 Update