Technology Exploration Forum Q&A With John D’Ambrosia

By John D'Ambrosia



What is the Technology Exploration Forum (TEF)?

The TEFs are an ongoing series of forums sponsored by the Ethernet Alliance to enable industry discussion and consensus building on various topics. The Ethernet Alliance organizes a TEF when we see the need for members of the Ethernet ecosystem to come together and communicate with each other about the continuing evolution of Ethernet and its potential impact on Ethernet standards and technology.

How will the upcoming TEF on Thursday, February 16, differ from past meetings?

This will be our sixth TEF. It is the first time that the agenda of the day is focusing solely on the end-user perspective. We are inviting CTO’s and other high-level end users to fully participate in the forum. The Ethernet industry has developed a great deal of technology over the last 10 years, and we want to get their perspective on how Ethernet can do a better job for them and their networks. This TEF will basically be a brainstorming session about what end users need and when they need it. Details about “The End Users Speak!” are available on the event page.

What key issues and concerns do you expect to discuss?

We are going into this TEF with no expectations other than focusing on the conversations taking place that day. There are always discussions going on between end users and their suppliers about various topics, such as increasing bandwidth, interoperability, and the need for low cost solutions. These conversations, however, need to happen at an industry level. This TEF will give everyone that has a vested interest in Ethernet’s evolution an opportunity to explore the exact nature of end users’ needs and discuss how to move forward, which might mean identifying needs for new standards and technologies.

What topics will be covered at the TEF?

We have 14 of the Ethernet industry’s best and brightest speakers that will offer up-to-the-minute information and their own Ethernet expertise and experience to attendees. The TEF will begin with a panel discussion on Ethernet in Future Data Centers. Speakers include Rao Ramanujam of Nationwide Insurance, Hartley Fred of Chevron and Matt Estes of Walt Disney.

The second panel will focus on Ethernet and the Heart of the Internet with Martin Pels of Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), Shamim Akhtar of Comcast and Jay Behrens of Frontier Communications. We are very fortunate to have Andy Bach of the NYSE Euronext delivering the keynote address at lunch to discuss the future of Ethernet and its ability to address his network demands. His talk will be followed by a panel addressing The Role of Power in Networks with Mike Bennett of LBNL, Una Song of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Bob Feldman of Google.

The Forum will close with talks from two speakers. Todd Roth of Harris will discuss Ethernet’s role in entertainment. Paul Nikolich, of YAS Broadband Ventures and Chair of IEEE 802 LAN MAN Sponsor Committee, will present a talk on The IEEE and Ethernet’s Future.

This is going to be an exciting and informative TEF. The Ethernet Alliance has always received positive feedback on these events. Everyone who attends will be very pleased that they made time for this event in their busy schedules.

Why are TEFs important?

This is very simple – these events enable the industry as a whole to gather and have an open and frank discussion on Ethernet and its future. Such conversations improve the industry’s focus on technology and standards development efforts. It also is important that all of the stakeholders in the Ethernet ecosystem participate in these discussions in order to enable the best solutions.


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