Transcript of: CloudEthernet Forum Announcement at NetEvents 23rd May 2013 James Walker – CloudEthernet Forum President

We started talking as an industry in December last year about some of the challenges that our customers were seeing in deploying large-scale datacentre environments, connecting those large datacentres together. And so over the last six months, a group of those companies have come together and so we’re announcing today the formation of a new forum in collaboration with the MEF, called the CloudEthernet Forum.

This is a very important and critical step. It has many things that it looks to achieve. All of those are of concrete benefit to end users. End customers who are building large-scale, complex, sophisticated datacentre environments. A lot of what you’ve heard yesterday was about Ethernet – one of the great things about it – is that it remains a constant. That it remains a standard and it’s managed to evolve through all the various things that it’s been asked to do over the past 40 years.

This is really the continuation of that. Ethernet is a powerful enabler in the datacentre. It connects together the servers, the virtual servers, everything within the datacentre environment. As we look forward to its role in the future, we see a need to refine and in some cases improve or enhance the behavior of Ethernet within large-scale datacentre environments.

This is complementary to other pieces of work that are being done in the industry today, whether that’s at Layer 3, where there is work being done to virtualise server environments, or even to look forward to SDN, where there’s a desire to have a steady state at the transport layer, which the controllers at the SDN level can then manipulate in an easier fashion.

So we’re announcing the launch of the CloudEthernet Forum. There are total of nine founding companies. We have a couple of extra ones that we’re looking to add very shortly. And there is a large number of companies that have expressed interest, so we’ll announce new members as that goes on.

The founding members and board members are Alcatel Lucent, Avaya, Equinix, HP, Juniper, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications (which I represent) and Verizon.

There are three main areas of focus for the CloudEthernet Forum. Two focusing around protocol aspects – VLANs and MAC address explosions within datacentre environments and between datacentre environments. And one project to rationalise storage technologies within the cloud, particularly over Layer 2.

What we wanted to do was to start off with three sort of major scaling problems that exist within and between datacentres. There will undoubtedly be a whole series of other things that the individual members will want us to do, and we’re obviously a member-led organisation. There is a lot of focus on reduction of energy use within datacentres. We need to look at how much Ethernet and the infinite Ethernet infrastructure that supports the datacentre can do to contribute to that reduction.

About The CloudEthernet Forum:

The CloudEthernet Forum is a global industry alliance founded in May 2013 to address the need for scaling and enhancing Ethernet technology to meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services. The membership will include systems integrators, NEMs and service providers including leading cloud providers – the eleven founder members being: Alcatel Lucent, Avaya, Citrix, Equinix, Huawei, HP, Juniper, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications and Verizon. The Forum’s mission is to help cloud service providers, carriers and enterprises to support cloud services more easily, quickly and economically.

The CloudEthernet Forum is an independent MEF organization. For more information, please visit