Monday, June 7, 2010

Ethernet Alliance Tests Data Center Bridging Interoperability

The Ethernet Alliance said that results from a recent interoperability plugfest focused on IEEE 802.1 Data Center Bridging (DCB) are encouraging and demonstrated the growing interest and demand for support in DCB capabilities.


The plugfest took place the week of May 17, 2010 at the University of New Hampshire's Interoperability Lab and included Cisco, Dell, Emulex, Intel, Ixia, JDSU, Leviton, Marvell, Mellanox Technologies, NetApp, Panduit, QLogic, Spirent, and Volex.

The event was the first demonstration of interoperability testing of IEEE Std. 802.1QauTM-2010 Congestion Notification (QCN), and a continuation of testing of DCB Capability Exchange Protocol (IEEE P802.1Qaz,), Enhanced Transmission Selection (IEEE P802.1Qaz) and Priority-based Flow Control (IEEE P802.1Qbb).

Participants were able to demonstrate effectively the interoperability of their products and participate in a lossless Ethernet fabric simultaneously on the same network. In addition to traditional TCP/IP traffic, interoperability was also demonstrated with multiple converged traffic classes including higher layer protocols such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and iSCSI over DCB as well as high performance computing traffic being properly managed by the DCB protocols.


"The importance of interoperability in developing technologies such as Data Center Bridging is vital. The vendors that came together at this event are turning DCB technology into reality by implementing the standards and demonstrating the robustness of initial implementations," said Patricia Thaler, IEEE 802.1 Data Center Bridging Task Group chair.


"The IEEE 802.1 DCB task group efforts offer significant improvements in how data moves through Ethernet networks and permits the convergence of multiple traffic types onto a single network," stated Charlie Lavacchia, Ethernet Alliance President. "Ethernet Alliance sponsored plugfests help to prove the feasibility of the technology, to test interoperability among multiple vendors, and to prepare the end user for adoption of new Ethernet technologies. DCB plugfests are critical to ensure the end users can deploy new technologies like FCoE or enhance existing ones like iSCSI."


Additional information on the interoperability demonstration will be available in a white paper published next month and a paper of findings for the first interoperability testing can be found on the Ethernet Alliance Web site.
http://www.ethernetalliance.orghttp://ethernetalliance.org/library/ethernet_in_the_data_center/white_papers

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