The Ethernet Alliance at OFC 2013 – Demonstrating. Educating. Advancing.

By Matt Traverso


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The mission of the Ethernet Alliance is to expand the ecosystem of Ethernet and foster the development of Ethernet technologies.  We have found that one of the best places in the world to showcase the expanding footprint of Ethernet into optical communications is OFC/NFOEC.  This is our third year presenting at OFC, and while I personally have been involved in OFC for over a decade, this is my first year to assist the Ethernet Alliance at OFC. 

We started conversations about OFC2013 nearly a year ago and the discussions were focused on opportunities for interoperability demonstrations with our member companies.  Thanks to the dedication of twelve participating member companies, the Ethernet Alliance is working on a fantastic live demonstration encompassing switches, routers, cable management, as well as discrete components – truly a significant display of the interoperability of Ethernet. 

The live demo showcases multiple data centers interconnected,  via 100GbE connections across routers from three different equipment manufacturers.  Within each data center, various configurations of switches, servers and test equipment will be implemented.  These are connected via a mixture of 10GbE and 40GbE highlighting some of the breakout cables being used to intermix 10GbE and 40GbE in networks today.

Last week the demo participants were helped by the tireless efforts of Andrew Bojak and the rest of the Spirent Communications team, who hosted our “hot stage” of the live demonstration.  On the show floor, we will have live demo of multiple data centers operating across a fully interoperable Ethernet network, including servers, switches, routers, and cabling, and incorporating speeds ranging from 10 to 100GbE. 

On top of the demo preparation, the entire team has been working to prepare our Ethernet Alliance presence at OFC with a theatre built-into our booth, as well as, hosted panels on the broader show floor.  We look forward to promoting Ethernet and interoperability to all of the attendees at OFC 2013. I invite all of you to stop by and visit us at booth #2909.

Matt Traverso is an Ethernet Alliance board member and the hardware engineering manager at Cisco Systems.

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