MEF launches CloudEthernet Forum

May 30, 2013
Launched this month, the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF’s) new sister CloudEthernet Forum plans to address the issues of scaling and applying suitable Ethernet services that meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services. With virtual machine populations running into the millions across geographically dispersed datacenters plus the migration of storage networks to Ethernet, the forum will aim to provide a unique framework for industry stakeholders to develop technology and services that address technical challenges such as VLAN scaling, Layer 2 performance and resilience across very large domains, and consolidating storage network technologies onto Ethernet.

Launched this month, the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF’s) new sister CloudEthernet Forum plans to address the issues of scaling and applying suitable Ethernet services that meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services. With virtual machine populations running into the millions across geographically dispersed datacenters plus the migration of storage networks to Ethernet, the forum will aim to provide a unique framework for industry stakeholders to develop technology and services that address technical challenges such as VLAN scaling, Layer 2 performance and resilience across very large domains, and consolidating storage network technologies onto Ethernet.

James Walker, president of the CloudEthernet Forum and vice president of managed network services, Tata Communications, explained how the forum will address real world concerns. “Four years ago we migrated our Ethernet services over SDH to native Ethernet over PBB and it is proving highly popular with our data center customers. They love Ethernet’s simplicity and scalability and want more. However, as data center networks become larger and more sophisticated, they are coming up against challenges, and the CloudEthernet Forum is committed to resolving those issues,” he said.

Ultimately, the work of the CloudEthernet Forum will enable cloud service providers, carriers, and enterprises to quickly and simply build and manage very large amounts of computing and storage capacity, the organizers predict. The aim is to meet the rapidly changing localized performance, scalability, and regulatory requirements of cloud services, all while optimizing operational costs.

Just as the MEF has enhanced and standardized Carrier Ethernet to create services suitable for geographically dispersed enterprises and mobile operators worldwide, the CloudEthernet Forum hopes to develop Ethernet to enable collections of millions of virtual servers and storage devices to perform reliably and efficiently across both regional and global networks.

“Solutions from the CloudEthernet Forum will increase demand for Carrier Ethernet services – aligning it closely with the MEF’s objectives and mission to accelerate the adoption of carrier-class Ethernet globally,” says Nan Chen, president of the MEF.

The founding members of the CloudEthernet Forum include: Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Equinix, HP, Juniper Networks, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications, and Verizon. The CloudEthernet Forum is an MEF organization but will operate independently. New members from such areas as systems integrators, network equipment manufacturers, and service providers, are encouraged to join.

For more information on Carrier Ethernet equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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