Next Generation of Network and System Design
The Fall 2010 Ethernet Alliance sponsored Technology Exploration Forum – Next Generation of Network and Systems Design – explored the impact networks of the future will have on system and component design. Areas of discussion included the future of 10GbE server interconnects, the thermal impact of 40GbE/100GbE on networks and systems, network convergence and virtualization and their impact on physical network designs, the evolution of storage network designs.
A kick-off presentation was delivered by Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research in which Mr. Crehan focused on three factors impacting Next Generation Networks and Systems Designs: convergence, specialization and bandwidth demand. Mr. Crehan was followed by an overview of the current status of the 25G signaling and OIF CEI-28G project delivered by OIF representative, Elizabeth Donnay where she discussed the steps being taken to towards achieving 25Gb/s. Next up was a panel discussion on Energy Efficient Ethernet and included speakers Hugh Barrass from Cisco, Dave Schneider of Ixia, Mike Bennett of Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory, John Dring of Teranetics and was moderated by George Zimmerman of Solarflare. Here we learned that only the surface of this effort has been touched and there is much more work to be done on improving the energy efficiency of Ethernet. The panel on Do we Need a New Environmental Standard for Internet Data Center. Moderated by Chris Cole of Finisar, this rather controversial panel included speakers Scott Kipp from Brocade, Herman Chu of Cisco, Vijay Vusirikala from Google, Richard Kluge from Telcordia and members of the CFP MSA.
Jason Carolan, director of cloud solutions development at VMware, delivered a keynote on Converging the Cloud. In his presentation, Jason discussed that although the cloud will transform the delivery of IT services, many challenges still exist and asked the audience to consider a number of key elements and attributes when designing products that are targeted to be used in the cloud. Next up was a very diverse panel on how storage networking will be impacted by Ethernet. Moderator Claudio DeSanti of Cisco led a group of panelists that consisted of Jordan Plawner of Intel, Fred Knight of NetApp, David Black from EMC and Marty Czekalski who represented the SCSI Trade Association. Here panelists answered questions such as what type of IP storage the cloud prefers, gave overviews on the trends types of data center facilities and the respective services offered and much more. A panel on multi-path Ethernet switching technologies was led by Paul Congdon of HP and included speakers Dinesh Dutt from Cisco, Uri Cummings from Fulcrum Microsystems, Donald Eastlake of Stellar Switches and a contribution by Paul Unbehagen from Alcatel-Lucent. Here a variety of topics were covered and included interesting alternative perspectives between TRILL and Shortest Path Bridging. The final panel of the day was led by Steve Garrison for Froce10 Networks who led Shehzad Merchant of Extreme Networks, Tom Stachura from Intel, Dave Schneider of Ixia and Motti Beck of Mellanox in a discussions about virtualizing Ethernet networks and the new ideas and standards appearing in this area. Here personal visions were offered on the possibilities and future directions that virtualization will be taking in various parts of the network and included interesting clarification s on terms such as “flat” versus “single tier” networks.
The day was wrapped up with closing remarks and discussions led by program chair John D’Ambrosia and followed by a networking cocktail reception where speakers and attendees had an opportunity to further discuss the days thoughts in an casual environment.
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