Interop Video Exclusive: Don’t Bet Against Ethernet

LAS VEGAS – In a town built on gambling, your safest bet this week is likely on Ethernet.

After 40 years, Ethernet has come to dominate network connectivity. This is in part thanks to John D’Ambrosia, a key figure in today’s Ethernet world. Currently the chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, D’Ambrosia has done much to advance IEEE standards, in particular the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet specifications. D’Ambrosia is also set to be confirmed as chair of the new IEEE group that will define 400 Gigabit Ethernet.

In an exclusive video interview at the Interop conference this week, D’Ambrosia showed off what makes Ethernet work and why it’s not just a best-efforts technology anymore.

The IEEE defines standards. The Ethernet Alliance helps make the standards work.

“The mission of the Ethernet Alliance is to speed up the adoption of Ethernet technologies,” D’Ambrosia said. “Speaking as someone that works in the IEEE, reality is that when I’m done, there is a 300-500 page document, and that’s not the same thing as technology.”

D’Ambrosia said it’s very hard to show someone a standard and say it works, but that’s precisely what the Ethernet Alliance does, as demonstrated at Interop.

That demonstration shows how copper and fiber interconnect solutions can all be used for Ethernet transport at 10 GbE and 40 GbE speeds.

“That’s the exciting thing about Ethernet. We’ve got all of these different solutions available,” D’Ambrosia said.

When the Ethernet Alliance started back in 2006, InfiniBand connectivity was in aggressive pursuit of the market. Standards introduced in 2006 and 2007 helped to narrow the latency gap between the two technologies.

“People have their religions, and I’m not going to slam others, I’m here to promote Ethernet,” D’Ambrosia said. “What I’ll always say is, don’t bet against Ethernet.”

Ethernet dominates because of its flexibility and adaptability. It’s proven itself able to meet changing needs.

“If Ethernet doesn’t solve a problem today and there is a market for it, we will solve it tomorrow,” D’Ambrosia said.

Watch John D’Ambrosia show what modern Ethernet looks like in the video below.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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