CloudEthernet Forum PR Contact:
Kate Innes
Zonic Group PR
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CloudEthernet Forum lines up its targets

White paper spells out challenges and priorities for action

September 26th , 2013, Mountain View, California, USA: The CloudEthernet Forum (CEF) launched its keenly-awaited white paper outlining the challenges that are emerging with the explosive growth in datacentres and cloud services enabled by the availability of high speed Ethernet. Among the key issues identified, in addition to scaling challenges, are requirements for technology and device-agnostic provisioning end-to-end, and for deterministic traffic behaviour and performance.

“Cloud has grown faster than anyone could have anticipated”, explains James Walker, CEF President and Vice President Managed Network Services, Tata Communications. “As demand grows the big name providers have had to throw money at their infrastructure to work around some of the challenges – and that just raises demand even faster!”

“What is needed is for service providers, network equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders to put their heads together and find solutions fast. The CEF is the forum to achieve this, and to anticipate future challenges. Today’s white paper is a great example of the power of co-operation in driving technological progress.”

The CEF, launched in May this year, is driven by early recognition of an impending storm, as demand for cloud services soar while the industry’s ability to scale datacenters risks stalling. The founding members’ first self-appointed task, was to poll stakeholders and produce a white paper enabling discussions with other interested companies to identify the issues and prioritise work.

Among the issues spelled out in greater detail in the white paper is the need for:

  • Scalability of Ethernet to support millions of VLANs and MAC addresses in a way that maximizes the transparency and geographical reach of deployment, and minimizes the configuration required for setup and operation.
  • End to end provisioning that is agnostic to the specific devices and technologies across the network, and requiring minimal or no human intervention for rapid deployment of services.
  • Deterministic traffic behaviour and performance to meet specified SLAs or legal/regulatory requirements – such as for keeping data within national or jurisdictional boundaries.

Sam Youn, Co-Chair Technical Committee and Director Network Architecture, Equinix, added.
“Today VM is one of the essential technologies of our IT world. CIOs are challenged in utilizing full VM features and capabilities with network bottlenecks. Our task as the CEF technical committee is to deliver industry acceptable solutions to support current and future foreseeable enterprise network challenges”.

There is also further work to be done on the relationship between the WAN and its resident overlay tunnels, and the white paper discusses areas for co-operation with other appropriate industry and standards bodies. Copies of this paper, entitled CloudEthernet Technical White Paper, is currently being circulated to CEF members and is now freely available to download from:

“Download the paper, give us your feedback, and join the CEF so your organisation can contribute to this vital work,” says James Walker. “We have taken the MEF as our model – a forum that brought together network equipment manufacturers, telcos and providers to transform global communications in just ten years. This is your opportunity to join us and help shape the future of cloud.”

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