Home Business IT Networking CloudEthernet Forum aims for data centre virtualisation

A new industry alliance, the CloudEthernet Forum, has been formed to address the issues raised by virtualisation and cloud services spread across geographically dispersed data centres.

According to a press release announcing its formation, the Forum "provides a unique framework for industry stakeholders to collectively develop solutions that address technical challenges such as VLAN scaling, layer 2 performance and resilience across very large domains and consolidating storage network technologies onto ethernet."

Founding members are Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Equinix, HP, Juniper Networks, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications and Verizon, but many more organisations are expected to join, including providers of cloud services.

The new body is associated with the Metro Ethernet Forum. James Walker vice president of managed network services for Tata Communications has been appointed president.

Walker said: "This is in response to urgent requirements from customers … We are already seeing performance degradation today from customers who have difficulty distributing their resources around the world … I started talking to colleagues and peers in December and now we are launching it. It brings together many stakeholders from many different parts of the industry … It addresses two areas: ethernet and its behaviour in a large environment and how it interacts with the cloud orchestration layer that sits above that… They have a very tight interaction with each other."

To demonstrate this tight integration, Walker said: "Cloud orchestration platforms use multicast to discover resources, so if you had taken multicast out of ethernet on the WAN you would have broken cloud orchestration platforms. So it is very important to have the interaction between those two layers."

He added: "There are also requirements from a privacy and regulatory point of view. In some countries there are certain types of data that you cannot take offshore so controlling where storage sits and how it is accessed becomes very important."

He said the goal of the forum was to enable separate data centres connected over a wide area network to behave as if they were on the same local area network.

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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