UNH-IOL inaugurates Energy Efficient Ethernet testing

IEEE 802.3az is a new protocol which addresses the growing need for companies and enterprises to be both energy efficient and energy conscious.

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), the networking industry’s independent third-party proving ground for developing technologies, announced that UNH-IOL is the first third-party testing facility that has the capability of testing Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), or IEEE 802.3az, a new protocol which addresses the growing need for companies and enterprises to be both energy efficient and energy conscious.

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The current Ethernet protocol maintains a constant link between devices that allows users instant connectivity, but at the cost of high energy consumption. The new EEE standard enables network devices to enter a low power idle mode when not transmitting data, drastically reducing energy requirements. Any network devices can be woken up and back in normal operation with minimal latency resulting in little or no impact on data transmission. The EEE standard is a key component to other energy efficiency standards such as the EPA’s Energy Star program for server and data center energy efficiency.

The UNH-IOL focuses on testing services for data, telecom and storage networking technology helping to cost effectively speed go-to market time for products. In compliance with the IEEE 802.3az Task Force’s current draft standard, the UNH-IOL’s EEE testing service allows member companies to assess the interoperability of devices before the standard is finalized, providing the opportunity to have market-ready equipment available as soon as the standard is approved.

“The standard is expected to be completed by 2011 and products that support the current draft of the standard are now being released,” said Jeff Lapak, senior engineer for the UNH-IOL. “Energy efficiency is top of mind with our member companies and their customers so the pre-testing process will allow them to be able to deliver new solutions in the quickest possible timeframe.”

The UNH-IOL has been tracking and offering input for the development of the EEE standard since its inception in 2006. In April of 2010, the UNH-IOL hosted the IEEE 802.3az Plugfest, sponsored by the Ethernet Alliance, where vendors demonstrated functional, pre-standard prototype devices.

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“Interoperability testing is a vital step in the development of new Ethernet technologies,” said Charlie Lavacchia, president of the Ethernet Alliance. “The UNH-IOL provides a neutral testing ground where companies can test against the current standard of EEE, while utilizing the deep domain expertise of the lab’s staff to gain insight into future growth opportunities.”

Currently, the UNH-IOL offers EEE testing for Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet and will begin offering EEE testing in all flavors of Ethernet by 2011.

For more information, visit http://www.iol.unh.edu.

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