OFC 2014: Ethernet Alliance Demonstrates Interoperability

While many of the solutions showcased in the exhibit halls at this year’s Optical Fiber Communication conference in San Francisco are geared towards long-haul, large-scale carrier and service provider concerns, several demonstrations are of interest to the enterprise, too. Among them, one standout is the Ethernet Alliance’s. The Ethernet Alliance took to the expo hall to demonstrate the interoperability of the optical Ethernet ecosystem.

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 booth

Next: Demo topology

Demo topology

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 demo topology

The Ethernet Alliance’s demonstration made use of hardware from multiple vendors to show how well they can play together, thanks in part to Ethernet Alliance and IEEE standardization and interoperability efforts.

Next: Rack 1

Rack 1

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 Demo Data Center Rack 1

Rack 1 of the Ethernet Alliance’s data center demo pulled together a Brocade ICX7750 top-of-rack switch, a Brocade MLXe router, three Ixia XM 2 portable chassis, an Ixia application server, and an Intel Xeon E5 server, with Amphenol and Volex optical cabling.

Next: Rack 2

Rack 2

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 demo data center rack 2
The second rack in the Ethernet Alliance’s main data center demonstration assembled two Brocade ICX7750 switches atop a Brocade MLXe router, two Spirent N4U compact chassis, and an Intel Xeon E5 server, again with optical cabling from Amphenol and Volex.

Next: Optical cabling

Optical cabling

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 demonstration optical cabling

Amphenol provided much of the optical cabling used in the Ethernet Alliance demonstration.

Next: Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapters

Intel Converged Network Adapters

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 demo Intel converged network adapter
Intel was on hand to discuss the converged network adapters utilized in the demonstration. Among the adapters on display are the XL710-QDA1/QDA2 converged network adapter, shown here at the front of the row. According to Craig Pierce, application engineer at Intel, this model is currently undergoing beta testing, and Intel expects to productize it within a month.

Next: The Ethernet Alliance’s Ethernet Optics Roadmap

The Road to Ethernet Optics

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014 road to optical ethernet

The Ethernet Alliance presented an optimistic view of the future of 400GbE optics.

Next: Promoting the Ethernet Alliance

Promoting the Ethernet Alliance

Ethernet Alliance OFC 2014

Unlike most of the other exhibitors at the show, the Ethernet Alliance has nothing to sell–just a vision to promote.

Next: The IEEE was there, too.

IEEE presence

IEEE presence at OFC 2014

The IEEE had a presence at the show as well, offering a wide variety of literature and encouraging attendees to join.

ENP editor Jude ChaoJude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.

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