Ethernet keeps evolving. A number of technology evangelists recently gathered together at the Ethernet TechnologySummit in Santa Clara, California. They discussed nothing but Ethernet for three days. The program covered current and future Ethernet technologies, such as 40/100GbE, FCoE, 25Gbps signaling, Terabit Ethernet, virtualization, cloud computing and Ethernet in the data center.

Ethernet Summit attendees gather to discuss the latest ethernet technologies.

David Hall and I sat on two panels. David shared his visions on how data center users should prepare their cabling infrastructure now for 40/100GbE. He also discussed market trends, 40/100GbE technologies and cabling building blocks, and more importantly the optimal migration path to 40/100GbE in the future and what actions can be taken now that allow for seamless eventual upgrade to 40/ 100GbE. Data center designers should plan to design their cabling infrastructure today with the eventual deployment of 40/100GbE in mind.

My topic was converged 40/100GbE data center fabric. Given the trend of data center virtualization, east-west network traffic flow is increasing rapidly so data center network architectures must evolve. I illustrated how to design a converged data center network based on fat tree fabric to achieve the goals of connecting any resource and delivering workload anywhere in a non-blocking manner. The key conclusion was that by utilizing the designs shown in the panel, data center designers can preserve their investments in today’s 10GbE networks for future upgrades to 40/100GbE technologies.

Data center operators are starting to deploy 40G in the core. This will migrate closer to the edge and 100G will start to show in the cores of data center networks. Certain cabling and architecture strategies implemented now prepare the data center for eventual speed upgrades.

For more information, check out the Web site at Ethernet Summit.

About the Author

Frank Yang

Frank Yang is manager, Market Strategy Development, for the ISP Fiber business unit of CommScope. Frank leads the market strategy development for data center, central office and enterprise campus markets. Prior to CommScope, Yang worked at Dell and was responsible for server hardware development. He serves as Marketing Chair for Next Generation Enterprise Cabling Subcommittee of Ethernet Alliance. He received a Master of Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and has several patents, articles, white papers and publications under his name. Frank is a frequent speaker at various global and national level opportunities, for example, Data Center Summit, Ethernet Technology Summit, OFC conference, the Ethernet Alliance’s Technology Exploration Forum, Cable Installation and Maintenance (CI&M) Webinars, BICSI conference, etc. Frank holds CloudU, Cisco Certified Network Design Professional (CCDP) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certificates.

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