“Toward Standardized 25 Gigabit Ethernet” by Mark Nowell, Cisco Systems, in Network Computing

By Ethernet Alliance

Standardization of IEEE 25 Gigabit per second Ethernet (25 GbE) is underway on multiple fronts, and Mark Nowell, vice president of the Ethernet Alliance board of directors and senior director of engineering in Cisco Systems’ data center team, writes about the progress and its drivers in Network Computing.

Because development of many technological components enabling 25 GbE were developed, and because important efforts to explore its technical feasibility and future interoperability had already taken place, Mark writes, standardization in this space of innovation has been rapidly paced.

Mark details the synergistic roles of two recently ratified standards:IEEE 802.3by™, IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 25 Gb/s Operation (http://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/802.3by.html), and IEEE 802.3bq™, IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for 25 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s Operation, Types 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T (http://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/802.3bq.html). In addition, he notes, new development of additional IEEE standards for 25 GbE is underway, such as work around supporting additional single-mode fiber reaches for 25 GbE. Because no single cabling configuration would be suitable for every single potential 25 GbE deployment, so standards-development work around 25 GbE has been predicated on the need for flexibility.

“With the standards work around 25 GbE, the entire physical layer—from electrical to optics, from millimeter to kilometer and all media and distances in between—will be aligned in terms of lane counts,” he writes, anticipating adoption across diverse spaces including data centers, the campus/enterprise and wireless backhaul.

To help advance the industry as a whole, the Ethernet Alliance works to facilitate the open exchange of ideas and dialogue. Look to the Ethernet Alliance for more articles like Mark’s in Network Computing, which help illuminate the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies.