Five Minutes With Scott G. Kipp
In October 2011, the Ethernet Alliance named Scott G. Kipp, Senior Technologist at Brocade Communications Systems, as its new President, succeeding outgoing President, Jim Theodoras, of ADVA Optical Networking. With solid successes in the development of next-generation Ethernet technology development and an acclaimed author, Scott is ideally suited to the challenge of leading the industry’s premier Ethernet advocate.
Q: Who is Scott G. Kipp?
A: I’m pleased to be able to say that I’m the new president of the Ethernet Alliance, as well as a Senior Technologist at Brocade, where I specialize in high-speed fiber optic technology. My manager likes to call me the “Laser Guy”. I’m an active participant in a wide range of physical layer standards, such as IEEE, ANSI, OIF, MSAs, and the IETF. I am a published author of multiple books, standards, and manuscripts focusing on broadband and fiber optic technologies.
Q: So why Ethernet? What makes it such a critical technology in today’s modern communications web?
A: Ethernet is the networking technology for the ages – it’s everywhere. For more than thirty years, it has served as a foundational networking technology for over a billion computers around the world. It’s a ubiquitous, standard for local area networks, and as emerging applications push the innovation boundary, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t leverage Ethernet somewhere along the line. It’s truly the network technology of choice.
Q: What do you feel are some of the most notable Ethernet achievements?
A: The Internet is probably Ethernet’s most obvious triumph – every server that delivers content to the Internet is networked via Ethernet. With Ethernet’s continued evolution, society is now moving into a new level of interconnectedness that’s built solidly upon the Ethernet ecosystem. Think about some of the most disruptive applications that have become a permanent part of today’s technology mosaic – Facebook, Twitter, Skype – those technologies are served up via Ethernet.
Q: What’s next, then? Where does the future of Ethernet lie?
A: It has such a huge future that it’s hard to express the full scope of where Ethernet will be in 20, 10, or even just five years. The Visual Networking Index predicts that in 2015, we’ll see about a Zettabyte of information running across the Internet – that’s about a billion terabytes. The networking world is entering the ZB era – the storage world is already there according to the Digital Universe Study.
I have trouble imagining networks and numbers of this scale, but consider if a million people are streaming high definition movies to televisions with over-the-top video services like Netflix at 5 Mbps, then that’s 5 Terabits/second right there. The insatiable bandwidth demands from consumers is what is driving the Internet’s growth today and will do so for at least a few more years. We’re going to need more links at higher speed and we’re expecting 400 Gigabit Ethernet or Terabit Ethernet to be the next speed or speeds. Parallel optics will be stepping stones to tomorrow’s generation of Ethernet speeds.
Q: Are you excited about your new position as Ethernet Alliance President?
A: Extremely. Jim Theodoras left me some very big shoes to fill, however, I’m thrilled that the Board of Directors asked me to take on the leadership of such a vibrant, dynamic organization. I’m looking forward to continuing the outstanding work already begun.
Q: What will your top priorities be in your new role?
A: I think one of the most important tasks set before us is to help educate the Ethernet industry about the diverse array of technologies that are in development, and the new applications – and in turn, new opportunities – they will enable. One of the first initiatives we’ll be undertaking is the launch of our new “University of Ethernet” webinar series. It’s a truly end-to-end program offering in-depth, practical learning opportunities, beginning with foundational Ethernet technologies and stretching out to next-generation applications, like parallel optics, terabit Ethernet, and beyond.
Q: So tell the truth: Ethernet is your life, right?
A: That makes me sound a little nerdy, don’t you think? But yes, I truly believe in the promise that Ethernet offers to business, industry, consumers, and the world at large. I do have a life outside of Ethernet though. A couple of years ago, my wife and I sold our house, bought an RV and began traveling around the U.S. full time. Most of the fellow RVers we met were retirees, but I was working full-time in the RV’s second bedroom. We wintered in New Orleans the year the Saints won the Super Bowl and I went to my first Mardi Gras; now we’re in sunny California.
What’s amazing is that I probably couldn’t have done this five years ago because the technology wasn’t there. Now, with cloud applications like my email, Skype, and webmeetings, I connect with my colleagues over the Internet. All of this is dependent on Ethernet; if I didn’t have Ethernet, I simply couldn’t live the life that I do.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the individual(s) and should not be considered the views or positions of the Ethernet Alliance.