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Industry Makes Progress on 25 Gbps Ethernet Data Center Technology

November 6, 2015 By Molly White in

Service providers that operate their own data centers will be pleased to learn that, according to the Ethernet Alliance, substantial progress is being made on the development of 25Gbps Ethernet data center equipment. Nearly 9 in 10 (more than 86 percent) of 25 gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet equipment and device feasibility tests at a recent multi-vendor event were successful, the Alliance highlights in a news release.

Global consortium Ethernet Alliance held a 25 Gbps feasibility testing event at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham June 22. Data collected during the feasibility tests has been forwarded on to the IEEE P802.3 Ethernet Task Force to contribute to the task force’s efforts to establish proposed 25Gbps technical standards and specifications.

“Work on the IEEE P802.3by 25 Gbps standard is progressing quickly, but having this data available has been highly beneficial to [its] development,” IEEE task force group chairman Mark Nowell was quoted as saying. Nowell is also senior director of engineering at Cisco Systems.

“The positive results generated at the Ethernet Alliance 25Gbps feasibility event were very encouraging. I would like to thank the Ethernet Alliance for making this event a reality and bringing this data forward.”

Added Ethernet Alliance president and Brocade principal technologist Scott Kipp: “The array of pre-standard equipment and cables tested during our technical feasibility event showed an unanticipated level of maturity. It’s a strong expression of the Ethernet ecosystem’s continued commitment to interoperability and a sign of the industry’s desire to capitalize on the benefits that 25Gb/s signaling offers.”

25 Gbps Ethernet

Hundreds of device and cabling feasibility tests were completed during event at the UNH-IOL, including testing of 25Gbps Ethernet link configuration, in-link configuration, target Bit Error Ratio (BER) confidence, transmitter output waveform and channel characterization, Ethernet Alliance elaborated.

Seen as paving the way towards 100Gbps Ethernet, the event attracted a broad array of technology development companies. Amphenol Corporation, Arista Networks, Cisco, Dell, FCI, Hitachi, Intel, Marvell and Xilinx were among the vendors participating.

UNH-IOL has hosted other testing and interoperability events for emerging broadband network technologies recently, indicative of the central role it’s playing in facilitating industry collaboration and contributing to the development of important industry standards.

This past June, UNH-IOL hosted the Broadband Forum’s first equipment and device plugfest. Fourteen chipset and equipment manufacturers participated in the event.

“UNH-IOL was pleased to host and be a part of the Ethernet Alliance’s recent plugfest, which yielded such a high success rate for a pre-standard technology,” said Jeff Lapak, associate director, UNH-IOL.

“The lab has been testing Ethernet interoperability for over 25 years and this technology demonstration really showcases that the Ethernet industry as a whole has the commitment to, and understands how important interoperability is to the ecosystem.”