MEF initiates CloudEthernet Forum

The Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF) new sister organization, the CloudEthernet Forum, was launched this month.

May 30th, 2013

Launched earlier this month, the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF) new sister organization, the CloudEthernet Forum, plans to address the issues of scaling and applying suitable Ethernet platforms that meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud data center services. James Walker, president of the CloudEthernet Forum and vice president of managed network services at Tata Communications, explains 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," says Walker. "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.”

With virtual machine populations running into the millions across geographically dispersed data centers, plus the migration of storage networks to Ethernet, Walker says the CloudEthernet 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.

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 forum's 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,” comments Nan Chen, president of the MEF. 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 the industry's ranks of systems integrators, network equipment manufacturers and service providers are encouraged to join the new group.

See also: Ensuring code compliance in your data center

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