The IEEE draft standards have Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation (VEPA), a feature that extends physical and virtual switching to eliminate the large number of switching elements that need to be managed. As reported on PC World, adoption of the specs would make management easier for server and network administrators by requiring fewer elements and configurations to manage.
“Cisco, HP and others are waging an epic battle to gain control of the datacentre, but at the same time they are joining forces to push through new Ethernet standards that could greatly ease management of those increasingly virtualised IT nerve centres.
“The IEEE 802.1Qbg and 802.1Qbh specifications are designed to address serious management issues raised by the explosion of virtual machines in data centres that traditionally have been the purview of physical servers and switches. In a nutshell, the emerging standards would offload significant amounts of policy, security and management processing from virtual switches on network interface cards (NIC) and blade servers and put it back onto physical Ethernet switches connecting storage and compute resources.”