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Ethernet Alliance meeting highlights emerging standards

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google? Microsoft? Ethernet Alliance? data centre? Ethernet?

John D'Ambrosia, chair of the Ethernet Alliance trade group, has recently called up a meeting to address the growing number of Ethernet standards and the issues and challenges related to these developments.

The major problem is Ethernet now covers a waterfront from gadgets in the home to core networks for the world's largest service providers and data centres. Folks like D'Ambrosia used to manage Ethernet's road map by delivering a 10x faster technology every three years, but that approach has stopped working.

"Targeting real applications with real solutions is the way forward," he told engineers at the end of the consensus-gathering meeting. "The days of building standards with 10x jumps are over."

The current Ethernet road map includes a new 25G effort.

The current Ethernet road map includes a new 25G effort, but that's just the start for changes yet to come.

Well, almost over. D'Ambrosia still chairs a 400G Ethernet effort that's a follow on to his last gig as chair of a 100G/40G standard. Telecom providers want that standard for their core networks, but meanwhile a few other cracks have opened up in the Ethernet dike.

Big data centres such as Google and Microsoft decided earlier this year they want 25G and 50G standards based on today's 28G serdes. They see the new data rates as cost effective ways to grow the networks that run today's search, social networking and other services. Now they think they want a 200G standard based on next-generation 56G serdes, too.

The data centres buy as much as ten per cent of Ethernet products these days, so vendors including Arista, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell and others formed a consortium in June to deliver the 25G/50G technologies, getting out ahead of the standards process.

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