In May, James Walker announced the launch of the CloudEthernet Forum to “address the specific issues of scaling and applying Ethernet technologies to meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services”. Judging by the response, he clearly hit a vital issue — but what does it mean in practice?

As James put it: “as datacenter networks become larger and more sophisticated, they are coming up against challenges…” But aren’t challenges just what you expect in any growing business? And isn’t the immediate solution to constrain your business model to fit what can be done, rather than fret about what might be possible?

To set things straight, we’ve invited James to team up with another CloudEthernet Forum member for this keynote. After a brief introduction, Phil Tilley, VP, Alcatel-Lucent outlined his story, explaining the service and spelling out the stages of development: the point where Ethernet scaling might become an issue, then where it began to impact performance, and then the business workarounds that were needed.

In response, James takes this example to illustrate current CloudEthernet Forum thinking. What is the core issue here? To what extent will it become a global issue? What would be a long-term solution? What interim measures might be advised? How would the CloudEthernet Forum address this?

As Sun Tzu write in The Art of War: “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Following this presentation we will better understand those challenges.



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