BICSI Fall 2020, Virtually Amazing

By David Rodgers



As a seasoned contributor and attendee of many trade shows, the virtual experience takes some getting used to. Chat rooms and virtual agents. YouTube videos and digital renderings. I was living in a sci-fi movie. Once I settled into the experience, it became easier to navigate and explore items of interest at my own pace, albeit awkward sometimes when moving from “room to room” in the digital wonderland.

I was pleased to see the Ethernet Alliance (EA) booth “staffed” by Member companies This being the EA’s first BICSI trade show experience, it was a refreshing departure from some of the events featuring high-speed products.  All too often, I find myself leading panel discussions about the next great Ethernet rates, forgetting the “real” world is trying to integrate a 10GbE switch into their 1G network. The BICSI demographic represents the “rubber meets the road” IT and data center pros who are working diligently to incorporate the products of today with the legacy equipment they support.

BICSI attendees that visited the EA booth were very interested and receptive to learn about the Ethernet Alliance PoE certification program, the recent Innovation award it was honored with by Cabling Installation and Maintenance, as well as the latest advancements in Single Pair Ethernet initiatives. Thank you to our members AEM Test, Cisco, CommScope, Fluke Networks and Panduit for joining Ethernet Alliance at this virtual event.

It dawned on me as I was composing my thoughts for this blog, a virtual trade show and our collective ability to log in, chat with customers and suppliers, exchange ideas and greetings in the digital realm would be literally impossible without the underpinnings of Ethernet. These types of virtual events are a testament to the advancement and conformance to the very IEEE standards the Ethernet Alliance supports. The Alliance is committed to interoperability, and bringing the ecosystem contributors together to ensure when technology is deployed, it works as seamlessly as possible.

We’ll be under the veil of the pandemic for a bit longer, and even as we return to “normal” operations, virtual shows and Zoom conferences are likely to coexist with traditional “analog” trade show. I am pleased to be a part of the EA and its commitment to advancing all things Ethernet.

I think fondly of my friend Dave Chalupsky whose tireless passion and dedication to leading Ethernet Alliance interoperability efforts is in large part why this all “just works”. Dave was most animated in the “live” settings of tradeshows and other events, where he was able to express his appetite for Ethernet. Whether on the show floor, at industry conferences, or “after hours” with a beer in-hand, his ability to bring people together defined his presence in our community and was arguably unmatched. I know he would be pleased to see how all the testing and planning work came together, ensuring a successful virtual event such as BICSI Fall 2020.

David Rodgers

Test and Measurement (T&M) professional


David J. Rodgers is a seasoned Test and Measurement (T&M) professional with wide-ranging experience in serial communications protocol and interconnect validation, and a focus on Ethernet network and Fibre Channel fabric solutions where he has been defining, designing, deploying and marketing a broad range of high-speed serial analysis T&M products for SANs and LANs. David has 35+ years industry experience in bringing new computer technologies to market with a wide-ranging background in business, program management and product development of serial protocol T&M solutions. He is an original member of the USB Implementers Forum and one of the pioneer marketers of USB protocol analyzers. David represents EXFO for high-speed interconnect test technologies including Ethernet and Fibre Channel in various protocol industry groups such as IEEE, T10/T11 standards bodies, the Ethernet Alliance and the Fibre Channel Industry Association.

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